Transcript – Episode 172

[Show music begins]

Eric Scull: This is Episode 172 of Alohomora! for January 9, 2016.

[Show music continues]

Eric: Hello everyone, and welcome to another exciting edition of Alohomora! I’m Eric Scull.

Alison Siggard: I’m Alison Siggard.

Michael Harle: I’m Michael Harle. And everyone, please welcome our fabulous guest on this episode: Jordan. Jordan, please say hi to everybody.

Jordan Stock: Hello, everyone!

Michael: Hey!

Eric: Welcome!

Alison: Hello!

Michael: Thank you so much for being here.

Jordan: Thank you for having me.

Michael: Oh, and tell us a little bit about yourself, tell us your Hogwarts house, tell us how you got into Harry Potter, and also if you have a username on the Alohomora! site so we know who you are.

Jordan: Okay. I am a Ravenclaw…

Michael: Ooh.

Jordan: … and Pottermore confirmed, when it was Pottermore.

[Everyone laughs]

Jordan: And I started reading Harry Potter when I was eleven, and I hated it at first.

Michael: Oh! Yes!

Jordan: I read the first chapter of Sorcerer’s Stone and I was like, what is this? And then I put it down for like two years and when I picked it up again, I was like nonstop obsessed…

Eric: Yeah.

Jordan: So it continues to this day.

Michael: So you were the perfect age for it.

Jordan: Yeah, I was, and I ruined it.

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: And are you on the Alohomora! site under a username?

Jordan: I am. My username is flightytemptress…

Alison: Oh, nice.

Jordan: … from the chapter in Half-Blood Prince

Michael: Oh, yes…

Eric: Adventure.

Jordan: “Let us pursue…”

Michael: So your real name is adventure…

Jordan: Yes, exactly.

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: That’s awesome. Well, thank you so much for being on the show, Jordan. It’s good we have a Ravenclaw because we are overburdened with Hufflepuffs on this episode.

Alison: Yeah. [laughs]

Jordan: All right, I’ll represent.

Michael: Good. Perfect.

Eric: You had better.

[Michael laughs]

Eric: And what an episode to represent the Ravenclaws in the one where we learn lots of stuff. This is going to be the episode where we discuss Chapter 22 of Deathly Hallows, titled “The Deathly Hallows”…

[Alison laughs]

Michael: This is it.

Alison: Woo!

Michael: This is the one.

Eric: Lack of creativity went into this chapter title here…

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Eric: This is it. This is the self-titled, or self-named, or name-titled, whatever…

Jordan: Well, it’s better than “The Peverell Quest.”

Michael: Yes.

Alison: [laughs] That’s true.

Eric: Yes, slightly. Yes, it is. I’m trying to think of…

Alison: There’s one in every book, though.

Eric: There is one in every book. It’s a great continuation of a trend.

Michael: Is the word you’re looking for “eponymous”? Was that the word?

Eric: Probably. I’m going to look that up when somebody else is talking, but yes, this is…

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Eric: This is that chapter. So, even though we’re about to talk about the previous chapter, don’t go into our big main episode discussion without having read and reread… if you do read often, you still want to reread, there’s a lot we’re going to be discussing…

Michael: Yes.

Eric: … of the Deathly Hallows chapter, titled “The Deathly Hallows.”

Alison: But before we get into that, we are going to recap comments from Chapter 21. And there were a lot of really good ones this week, a lot of really long ones this week…

Michael: The listeners were so good about answering our calls…

Alison: [laughs] Yeah.

Michael: … to be like, “Can you help us with this?”

Alison: [laughs] Yeah.

Michael: “Because we have no idea.” [laughs]

Alison: So many.

Michael: Very helpful.

Alison: You guys are brilliant. Okay. So we’re going to get into them, and the first one is from davybjones999, who says,

“Here’s a list of things that I think are direct influences on this chapter of ‘Harry Potter’. The teller of the tale has their own agenda…”

Oh, sorry. We’re talking about “The Pardoner’s Tale,” which we discussed a little bit last week in relation to “The Tale of the Three Brothers,” because Jo has said that was an influence on this. So…

Michael: None of us could read it because…

Jordan: I’m so glad that someone wrote about that.

Michael: Yes.

Alison: Yeah.

Michael: This is helpful since only Alison would understand the Ye Olde English…

[Alison laughs]

Michael: … of the original. [laughs]

Alison: Yes. [laughs] So the comment says,

“The teller of the tale has their own agenda, ripping money off of his companions for the pardoner and selling out Harry Potter in order to protect his daughter Luna for Xenophilius. Someone in the story within the story tries to trick the three characters into dying, succeeding in ‘The Pardoners Tale’ and only partially in ‘The Tale of the Three Brothers.’ The three die because of their own greed in both stories.”

Michael: Huh. And also Death is actually a character in “The Pardoner’s Tale” too, isn’t it?

Alison: Yeah, I think so.

Michael: Somebody’s like, “Death was over there. Go over there, that’s where Death is.” [laughs]

Alison: Mhm.

Michael: And then these three guys screw each other over and they all get taken by Death. But like davybjones said, the interesting thing is that they all become a victim of the morality tale.

Alison: Yeah.

Michael: One of them doesn’t best the other two or win or do the right thing. They all screw up.

Jordan: I like to relate it to “The Three Little Pigs” better.

[Alison laughs]

Michael: Yeah, I think the morality of “Tale of the Three Brothers” seems more closely related to “The Three Little Pigs” to me, in terms of don’t be lazy or stupid or greedy. Be smart and you will win.

Eric: Right.

Alison: Yeah.

Eric: Get a brick house.

Michael: Yeah, right. [laughs]

Eric: [singing] “She’s a brick house…”

Jordan: Think long term.

Michael: Yes!

Eric: There you go.

[Michael laughs]

Eric: Think long term, that’s a good way of summing that up.

Michael: Get a brick house, put your Invisibility Cloak on, and keep everybody away.

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Eric: And then will that brick house to your kid.

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Jordan: And then they will survive, too. Success.

Michael: But I like the idea too of actually “The Pardoner’s Tale” having a relationship to the actual action of the chapter in Xenophilius…

Alison: Yeah.

Michael: … and trying to cheat Harry and the other two. So that it’s not a direct relationship to the fairy tale of “The Three Brothers”…

Alison: But the situation for when the tale is told is similar.

Michael: Yeah.

Alison: And our next comment comes from Slyvenpuffdor.

Michael: Oh my goodness. Well…

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Alison: Well done, putting all of those together, actually. That’s very…

Michael: Instead of being the master of Death, you’re just the master of Hogwarts.

[Alison laughs]

Jordan: Yeah. Quite the Hatstall.

[Alison, Eric, and Michael laugh]

Michael: The longest Hatstall in history.

Eric: The Sorting Hat was really upset.

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Michael: He was having a day.

Jordan: He was just, “All of them. Take all of them, I don’t care.”

Michael: “Everything!”

Alison: “Just choose… Just go… just go somewhere. I don’t care.” Anyway, the comment says,

“While the hosts were talking about the Resurrection Stone, I thought, ‘What if the stone just projects memories of the user?’ So either, (1) it legitimately lets the user communicate with the souls of the dead, OR (2) it projects memories from the user of the dead and creates a sort of painting-like half-life of the people the user wishes to communicate with. Thoughts? (I think this depends on whether or not the stone could resurrect people the user has no memory of, but I’m not sure we know if that’s possible).”

Eric: I like this because it brings up what the vagueness is between… Harry in this chapter that we’re about to read mentions the Priori Incantatem and the fact that that was similar to what he thinks the Stone is capable of and how it’s ambiguous whether they were actually ghosts or shadows or memories, and Hermione concedes that she doesn’t really know and it’s not very common. But I think in the Priori Incantatem, Harry sees Frank Bryce who he technically didn’t know, even though he may or may not have been seeing what happened in the first chapter of Book 4 through [Voldemort’s] eyes or whatever. It’s still in general very confusing, but this comment goes into that, I think, a little bit further about the Resurrection Stone’s capabilities and is reminiscent of the “King’s Cross” chapter, which is to come later. Especially with the line, “Of course it’s happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean it’s not real?” It’s like Dumbledore gives a lot of revealing character admissions to Harry and is talking to him about what stuff means. But ultimately if that’s not really Dumbledore’s soul, if it’s his memory of Dumbledore and what Dumbledore would say, then how real is it?

Michael: I’ve wondered – this seems to be open to interpretation, I think for me – because I find a lot of people who have differing opinions on kind of all of the apparitions that Harry has encountered throughout the series. Because I’m one of those people – I was pretty strong about this when we discussed Goblet of Fire – I think that Harry actually properly summoned kind of the same thing with the Resurrection Stone that he did with Priori Incantatem. I think those were like… because Dumbledore insisted, “No, no, no, they’re like echoes. They’re not the real thing.” And I’m like, but they seem to be the real thing.

[Alison laughs]

Eric: They really do.

Michael: They do. They’re very knowledgeable… they’re up-to-date on their knowledge of what’s going on. The only reason anything about them is limited is because Harry has limited time with them, and I think that’s the case in all the encounters he has with people who are properly brought back in some way in the series. I don’t think of the Mirror of Erised as a proper method of bringing somebody back because 1: that’s not what it does for everyone, and 2: those beings can’t communicate. They kind of just look benignly at you.

Eric: I don’t know, Harry’s grandpa…

Michael: Those knobbly knees.

Eric: … that one time.

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Eric: I know, I said “grandpa,” but the whole time I was thinking “knobbly knees.”

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Eric: That’s his nickname.

Jordan: Grandpa Knobbly Knees.

Eric: No, Cedric asking Harry to take his body back is… for me that’s clearly a thing a ghost would say, versus a memory of Cedric which would be more different. But I think it’s meant to be ambiguous. The point… of the Resurrection Stone could be that they’re as real as you could possibly want them to be. Or maybe the fact that they’re not meant for this world means they are in fact spirits, so it’s not like Priori Incantatem; it’s not like everything else. They really actually have been summoned here but they don’t belong here. It proves the existence of the soul or afterlife, but I think that’s probably already done in Harry Potter by evidence like ghosts and – what else? – a couple of other things.

Jordan: Horcruxes?

Eric: Horcruxes…

Alison: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah.

Jordan: That is definite proof of a soul.

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Eric: There’s your Ravenclaw moment. Souls definitely exist; there are Horcruxes. Okay, good point.

Alison: Yeah, when I saw this I thought it was an interesting idea, but I think the scene in the forest at the end really contradicts it, just because [of] the way that Jo has explained that scene. Because those people seem very much to know what Harry’s doing now and what he’s done up to that point, because he has these conversations with his parents, with Sirius, with Lupin…

Jordan: Well, don’t you think that’s because Harry summoned them, so they’re reading his mind?

Alison: Yeah.

Eric: They could still be from his head.

Alison: Yeah. But there’s also how Jo has explained it, in that part of the reason Harry is like the master of this Hallow is because he’s not bringing them back to him. He’s kind of summoning them to take him with them, is kind of the explanation she’s given for why he’s the master of that Hallow. So they’re kind of ushering him into death, and that’s why he doesn’t go crazy because of it.

Michael: Well, they explain to him – and I guess taking how you interpret it, because if you do take it as these things could potentially be from a reflection of Harry’s understanding of the individuals, which again as Dumbledore said, doesn’t necessarily make it not real – but they all kind of say, and he recognizes, that they’ve all been with him the whole time…

Alison: Yeah.

Michael: And once they physically disappear, which they do after a point, he knows and they know that they’ll still be with him.

Eric: Yeah, that kind of sounds more like they apparently do belong with him or something.

Michael: Mhm.

Eric: I don’t know.

Eric: It’s kind of weird.

Michael: Yeah.

Alison: That’s true.

Eric: I think it’s meant to… specifically meant, intentionally meant to not quite make sense. Like she’s wrapped up a lot of these types of questions about the afterlife in a nice little doesn’t-make-sense bow, because you have that line of Dumbledore’s, “Oh, why does that mean it’s not real?” And it’s just like, oh, we’re not really supposed to be asking these questions.

[Michael and Alison laugh]

Eric: It doesn’t actually… yeah. Like ghost Dumbledore said that, or was it ghost Dumbledore or was it Harry’s memory of Dumbledore saying not to worry? It’s a rabbit hole. It’s a complete… like turtles all the way down. So that’s all I have to say about that.

[Michael and Alison laugh]

Alison: Okay. Our last comment then is a bit of a longer one. But it was… actually it’s not our last comment.

Michael: I was going to say, we’ve got another one.

Alison: It’s our second to last comment! I can’t count obviously.

[Michael laughs]

Alison: It’s a bit of a longer one, but it was really incredible and I actually chopped it down quite a bit. So, here we go – we’re just going to dive into it. It’s from WhoDoYouKnowThat’sLostAButtock?, and it says,

“… Dumbledore functions as Death… in the items he bestows on our own trio in his will. The items he leaves each member of the trio parallels the item each member… says they would choose for themselves once they hear ‘The Tale of the Three Brothers.’ The Hallows symbolize three things: wisdom, power, and (depending on your interpretation) regret, love, or seeking something out of reach. Each of the trio seeks one of those things in a rather primal way. Ron answers, ‘The Wand.’ To him, the wand of ultimate power would be the best thing to have, which makes sense, as he is a character who often feels powerless… Fittingly, he is willed a Deluminator by Dumbledore, which mimics the cylindrical…”

I am so sorry I can’t say that word today.

[Michael laughs]

Alison: [continues]

“… the cylindrical shape of a wand, and it is an instrument of power… to return to his friends when he feels most powerless. Hermione answers, ‘The Cloak.’ Her choice is mimicked in the book she is given. Both are gifts of knowledge and wisdom and provide the recipient with the wisdom to make the best choices. They are both, in a way, a protection to those who know how to use them. And again, the basic shape is mimicked when you imagine a broader, flatter shape, something which can cover… Finally, Harry answers, ‘The Stone.’ He is given the Snitch (and of course the Stone) by Dumbledore – the round shape, the circle, the journey that ends where it begins, ‘I open at the close.’ These are dual symbols when paired. The Snitch is a reminder of his direct, literal role as Seeker, as well as his role as the seeker of the Hallows, the Horcruxes, and the truth.”

Michael: Wow! It’s things like this where you can almost feel what joy it must be to be Rowling and have these fireworks going off in your head as you write this stuff.

Alison: Yup. [laughs]

Jordan: I know, she must be like, “Oh my gosh, it’s like the same shape!”

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Jordan: [unintelligible] “I’m so good.”

Eric: I mean, nothing is accidental, but she is… you get the real sense in reading the last chapter that she was on quite a roll.

Michael: Yeah.

Eric: The gradual realization of Harry’s – both in the last chapter, and it’s actually shared by them in the last chapter too like, “The Cloak, the Cloak!” The idea that they have one or more of these Hallows already is super exciting in a time where you really need that oomph – that extra oomph. And it comes and everything is so … like it fits. And that’s all that they keep saying last chapter and this chapter, “It fits, it fits, it fits!” And it’s so exciting, so you can tell J.K. Rowling had a lot of fun.

Michael: I wonder if that idea, too – because Harry never brings this up in the next chapter as his defense for his belief in the Hallows – but if that was almost an intentional thing by Dumbledore too giving Harry the Resurrection Stone in the Snitch and that symbolism that he is a Seeker. Not only in the literal sense in Quidditch, but as WhoDoYouKnowThat’sLostAButtock? said here, is a seeker of the Hallows. And that would kind of been an additional argument for that view on Harry’s part.

Eric: It was so sad though when he said the Stone and the other two just looked at him.

Alison: Yeah.

Michael: Yeah, and that’s going to come up a lot in the next chapter and why the other two really don’t want to talk about the Stone.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: It certainly will.

Alison: Yeah. I do now want though someone to draw like the actual Deathly Hallows, in the Deathly Hallow formation and then like, these, in that formation…

Michael: Yes.

Alison: … the book and the Snitch and the…

Eric: [laughs] It wouldn’t work!

Alison: Okay, maybe not, [laughs] but I want it, okay?!

Michael: The Put-Outer.

Jordan: Ask Casey Robin to do it.

Michael: Yeah. [laughs]

Alison: She’ll probably do it beautiful.

Michael: Yeah, you’d have to stretch the book a little bit.

Alison: Okay. Then our actual last comment for today is from Mithrandir, who was talking about, we were trying to, we were discussing the theory of Dumbledore’s death and that whole kind of fan theory. And we were wondering what other trios could fit, and we couldn’t think of any, but Mithrandir did, and they say,

“I’ve thought about other trios that could stand in for the three brothers and I keep coming back to Grindewald, Albus, and Aberforth. Grindewald is the first brother because he is interested in power. I say Albus is the second brother because he is most haunted by the deaths of Ariana, Kendra, and Percival. These are his personal ghosts. Aberforth is relatable to the third brother because, as I suspect, he has always felt invisible. Aberforth has always had to live in his brother’s shaddow; he keeps his head down and just wants to be left alone. In some ways, Aberforth is the most humble Dumbledore. I put Ariana in the role of Death because it is her death which causes this trio to go each their own way. If she had not died ‘at the proper moment,’ events would have unfolded very differently.”

Eric: Yes! I just want to say, for these comments that we’ve read on this episode, I’m giving you guys, the users, a standing ovation. I don’t know if you can hear this I’m standing up right now.

Alison: Same.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: [claps hands] I’m clapping, bravo! And because I love this. I love these comments – these are very strong, very impressive.

Michael: Yeah, I really like that one.

Jordan: I do have a problem with this one, though.

Eric: Hmm?

Michael: Okay.

Jordan: That Albus is the second brother haunted by Arianna, Kendra, and Percival. But he just wants his parents to come back so he doesn’t have responsibility.

Eric: Oh, that’s harsh. That’s a little…

Jordan: He says it!

Eric: Well, okay. If he says it.

Jordan: I know it’s harsh, but that’s why.

Eric: Look, I think everybody at some point wants a little less responsibility. I mean, it think that’s natural. I mean, I also think Albus was also tempted by power, much like Grindlewald was.

Michael: Yeah.

Eric: In fact, he was obsessed with it like Harry gets to be in this chapter, but I think that what I agree with as far as Albus being the second brother, is that Harry is definitely the second brother. The weight on Harry’s shoulders is constantly about those who have died for him, which was defined back when he was like one year old when his parents did it. So… and I think that really defines his character; those who are willing to die for him. So I like the connection between Albus and Harry and that this theory works for, in having Albus and Harry be the same brother. I just like how that connects.

Michael: I think the tough thing with this is, I suppose, just thinking about these characters pre and post Arianna’s death, especially Albus because he because, I think, a very different person as the years go on in that… I think, in a way, the Albus pre-Ariana’s death is that individual who is like, “Oh, I wish my parents were here so I didn’t have to bother with all this.” kind of attitude. But I think as time goes on, Albus does… I think Albus does become in a lot of ways the second brother because he… I mean, he succumbs to the power of the Resurrection Stone in the same way as the brother does.

Eric: Ooh! I just thought of something. The second brother also takes his own life, and Albus sacrifices himself to be killed…

Alison: Oh.

Jordan: That is true.

Eric: … and Harry sacrifices himself.

Michael: Mmm.

Jordan: Mic drop.

Alison: Interesting.

[Michael laughs]

Eric: Basically, walking into the woods is committing suicide.

Alison: Yeah.

Michael: Don’t do it.

Eric: Dumbledore definitely committed suicide.

Jordan: Yeah.

Michael: It’s why that musical is called Into the Woods because almost all the characters die.

[Alison, Jordan, and Michael laugh]

Eric: [singing] “Into the woods we never go, into the woods.”

Michael: [laughs] That’s what that play is all about, so I guess that’s true.

Jordan: It’s true, though.

Michael: So don’t go walking in the woods, everybody; it’s not going to end well. [laughs]

Eric: Also, don’t be unfaithful in your marriage or you’ll get frostbite.

Alison: Just listen to the first half. [laughs]

Michael: Just watch the first half.

Alison: Just listen to the first half.

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Michael: But I really like that as…I think my favorite thing about this is Ariana as death.

Alison: Yeah.

Michael: Because that’s not a typical interpretation, and that’s not a typical character who you associate with the death embodiment in the story, so I like that.

Eric: Agreed.

Jordan: Yeah. Very good comment.

Alison: Yeah. All of them this week were phenomenal. You guys are absolutely brilliant, so keep it up. And, everyone, head on over to the conversation that is still going on at the main site,

Michael: And there were plenty of other conversations going on in this week’s Podcast Question of the Week responses. As a reminder of that question, it was,

“We discussed in this episode the pros and cons of each of the three Hallows. You heard our answers, so now we want to get to know you as well as you know us. Which Hallow would you choose and why? Give us your reasoning behind your choice of the Wand, the Stone, or the Cloak.”

So there were some interesting kind of general topics and some stats that I wanted to bring up before delving into all of the comments that were…

Eric: Hit us with the stats.

Michael: Yes. So the stats…

[Alison laughs]

Michael: … because I did want to see which Hallow won out. So the Cloak won with 14 votes, the wand won with… the Wand won second with 8, and the Stone only got 1.

[Eric and Michael laugh]

Alison: Interesting.

Michael: The Stone…

Eric: Bless the person who voted for the Stone. Thank you. Go for the underdog.

[Michael laughs]

Alison: For being honest. [laughs]

Michael: And actually, we have… we actually have the comment from the person who picked the Stone, and we’ll talk about that because some very interesting things came up with… there were some versus situations that came up with all three of the items. With the Cloak, it was a matter of using the Cloak and… [laughs] that was another funny thing, too. Almost everybody who picked the Cloak prefaced their answer by saying, “I didn’t pick it because it’s the one you’re supposed to pick.”

[Alison laughs]

Eric: Supposed to pick. Yeah.

[Alison, Jordan, and Michael laugh]

Eric: It’s like Gryffindor. “What House are you in?” “Oh, Gryffindor. Don’t worry.”

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Jordan: No, Ravenclaw.

Eric: I understood the moral of the story; I’m supposed to pick the Cloak.

[Michael laughs]

Eric: [unintelligible] will say that.

Michael: Yes. So most everybody who said they wanted to pick… take the Cloak said they didn’t pick it because of that reason, although actually most of you who gave reasoning, it was in line with why you should pick the Cloak.

[Alison laughs]

Michael: But there was an issue of using the Cloak for protection versus using it for personal use, such as… an example is, I said last week using it to sneak into movies for free.

[Eric laughs]

Michael: The Stone was also brought up in a similar way for personal use to bring back loved ones versus actually an educational use which a lot of you came up with which we’ll talk about in the comments. And then the Wand! [laughs] The Wand was very interesting. A lot of you very sanctimoniously claimed that you would not use it for power, but for personal use – but a bunch of you who said that didn’t say what you were going to do with it, so I had some suspicions [laughs] about how much power you might crave. But people were arguing that they would supposedly just use it for… as a very powerful dishwashing spell…

Eric: [laughs] Yeah, clearly.

Michael: [laughs] … that would never…

Eric: Maybe they all have holly and phoenix feather wands…

[Michael laughs]

Eric: … they accidentally sat on…

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Eric: … they want to repair.

Michael: But in terms of the Stone, which again was probably one of the most fascinating because it was only picked by one person; it was picked by our listener, Lupinionated – which is a great username.

Eric: Ah, fresh.

Michael: A similar topic was also brought up by That Time Remus Waddiawasied Voldemort, another great username. All about Remus, you Remus people. But that individual did not actually pick the Stone as their choice, but Lupinionated did. Lupinionated said,

“So it may just be the Ravenclaw in me, but I would definitely choose the Stone. Imagine being able to speak to any person from any time period and to be able to hear first-hand accounts of any major world event ever. Imagine being able to solve mysteries that have puzzled us for centuries. It’s pretty much unlimited information and the thought of it is enough to make my eagle heart sing.”

So I thought that was interesting because that brought up actually a few points for me, but first of all, as fun as the idea of bringing people back from history is, do you guys think that the Stone can do that?

Jordan: I don’t.

Eric: Well, it’s… depends on your interpretation of “The Tale of the Three…” I’m guessing it doesn’t. I think that the reason that it worked for the second brother was he had this very strong connection to this woman…

Michael: Mmm.

Eric: … who had died. He was going to marry her, after all…

Michael: Mhm.

Eric: … and that’s why she was able to be recalled. So I question whether or not you could actually just turn the Stone thrice in hand and shout, “Ta-Tutankhamen! King Tutankhamen!”

[Michael laughs]

Eric: “I want to speak to King Tut!”…

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Eric: … and have King Tut be like, “Hey, what’s up?”

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Eric: “How’s it going?” And then you’d have King Tut just lingering around your apartment until he withered away.

[Jordan laughs]

Eric: But honestly, the text itself doesn’t really say that that’s impossible. Even though we’ve observed how the Stone actually seems to work and it is something to do with like your memory of that person, or maybe that they really are literally living inside your heart. But like somebody from the distant past wouldn’t fulfill that requirement. But I think the text just says the second brother asked for the powers to recall others from death. Like the ones that death had already taken, so…

Alison: Does it say “others” or does it say “loved ones,” though?

Michael: That’s… it’s interesting you bring that up, Alison. Because actually, the text in the book says: “others from death.” The movie version says, “loved ones,” specifically.

Alison: Really?

Michael: Yeah.

Alison: Hmm.

Michael: They changed that.

Eric: That’s fascinating.

Alison: I’d never caught that before.

Michael: Yeah. I didn’t catch it either until, of course, I read “The Tale of the Three Brothers” a million times within the last week so that…

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Michael: … I could record it…

Eric: [unintelligible]

Michael: … for Alohomora!‘s Patreon account… which by the way, listeners, you can get that full audio version that I did of “The Tale of the Three Brothers” if you…

Eric: Nice.

Michael: … donate to our Patreon account, any amount, you’ll receive access to that. Jordan, you said you didn’t think that the ring worked that – or the Stone – worked that way…

Jordan: The Stone.

Michael: … why did you think it doesn’t work that way?

Jordan: I do not think that you could… maybe if you’ve read a lot about them in a book, but I think that what the Stone brings back is like a shade or an echo of the person. I don’t think that they’re physically there. I think it’s like in the movie, that you can see through the people.

Michael: Hmm.

Jordan: They’re there to you but they’re not permanently back.

Michael: Mhm.

Alison: Mhm.

Jordan: Like the tale says, “She’s cold and distant.”

Michael: Mhm.

Jordan: Probably because she didn’t want to be there. But so…

[Eric laughs]

Jordan: Sorry.

Eric: I just think of the genie coming out of the lamp in Aladdin and not wanting to be bothered by Al.

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: Such a nuisance. But yeah, no… that’s… and I think that’s interesting because I think this was… in a way, I feel this was something, not usually done by the script writers for the movies, but that was foreseen as a problem with the Stone and the Ring. So that they actually, perhaps, changed that line on purpose to specify loved ones.

Eric: You know, knowing that the movie came out second and it would seem… it would appear to be a correction that was to be… to make more clear.

Michael: Mhm.

Eric: Because I think it really… the second version, “the loved ones from death,” probably more accurately reflects all the times that we’ve seen the Stone in practice…

Alison: Yeah.

Michael: Yeah, mhm.

Jordan: That’s true.

Eric: … which makes the Stone a lot weaker choice. So, if that was the one person who chose the Stone…

[Alison and Eric laughs]

Eric: … so sorry…

[Eric and Michael laughs]

Eric: … that King Tut will not be knocking down your door.

[Michael laughs]

Jordan: But to them, they think that they can do it, so good for them.

[Michael laughs]

Jordan: Good for you, Lupinionated.

Eric: So I want to bring up…

Michael: All you need is to believe.

Eric: I was just thinking of a movie that I saw once called Somewhere in Time. It’s a great movie with Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve, who… it’s this amazing love story involving time travel but the method of time travel that they use – the means by which it happens – has to do with the heart and your love and your ability to focus on what matters to you. So it’s like… it’s really cool and you should all watch that movie; that’s my recommendation.

Michael: Logging that one away.

Eric: It has some relevance to the power of the Stone.

Michael: Speaking of the… more on the power of the Stone, we have another comment from – and I’m so sorry if I butcher this – Wokanshutaiduo. Wokanshutaiduo, yeah! We’re going to say that’s how…

Eric: I think that’s pretty accurate.

Michael: [laughs] It sounds right to me. Actually, I’m going to call you Wokan for short. Wokan chose the Wand but what Wokan had to say about the Stone was really interesting to me. And they said,

“As for the stone, I don’t believe in an afterlife to begin with, so honestly I don’t believe that the apparitions the stone brings are truly your loved ones. But putting that aside and assuming the afterlife exists, I have no desire to drag people away from their new life just to satisfy my curiosity.”

Eric: Did you rub my lamp?

[Michael laughs]

Eric: Did you wake me up?

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: And Jordan, I feel like this ties in to what you were saying that… because what was interesting that was brought up in this comment – to me – is that, well, of course, they are people out there who don’t believe in an afterlife or that, that’s what happens to your soul in the afterlife…

Eric: That’s… yeah.

Michael: … so that you can recall it. So that ties in with what Jordan was saying. Perhaps that it’s an element of belief, perhaps…

Eric: Yeah.

Michael: … for the individual.

Eric: Well, it’s just that the existence of the magical world works wonders to disprove… almost disproves atheism. Like, I mean…

[Michael laughs]

Eric: … you can have ghosts so there is some sort of afterlife. You can have Horcruxes, so there are souls. You know what I’m saying?

Michael: Mhm.

Eric: So it’s like it actually prevents some of that… some of those lines of thought from being more or equally plausible…

Michael: Mhm.

Eric: … at least in our modern concept.

Michael: Well, because I think of that in terms of… because I guess one of the big things, too, that supposedly, would disprove it would be ghosts but as Nick shares in Order of the Phoenix, he doesn’t really even know what’s beyond the next stage because he didn’t get to go there.

Eric: Right.

Michael: And even when he was briefly in limbo and made his choice, he didn’t get to see what was on the other side; that wasn’t allowed for him. So in a way it’s still open, I guess, for that interpretation a little bit. But moving on from the Resurrection Stone, we’ll talk a little bit about the Cloak. And this comment comes from DreamGalleon88, and this comment sounds like a bit of a downer, but I thought it was really important to read, actually.

Eric: No!

Michael: [laughs] No, no downers!

[Alison and Jordan laugh]

Michael: But DreamGalleon88 says,

“The Cloak is a versatile, as well as neutral, Hallow. Unlike the Elder Wand and the Resurrection Stone, the Invisibility Cloak can be used for either good or bad, depending on who wields it. As far as I know, no negative consequences have been associated with using the Cloak, unlike the other two Hallows, which bring dead people to life who end up miserable, or create wizards who hunger for the power and greed linked with possessing the most powerful wand ever created. What most appeals to me is the fact that you don’t have to be a wizard, or even a magical being to use the Cloak. Sure, it could be used by muggles for ill-purposes, such as robbing banks or committing crimes. However, if used for good, the Cloak could do amazing acts of goodwill and make the world a better place. If you look at what’s occurring in the world today, I’d feel no regret if the Invisibility Cloak was used to help the refugees fleeing to Europe conceal themselves; or for women to sneak into abortion clinics without being attacked by protesters; or for anyone who feels discriminated against for their skin color to walk the streets in less fear because they know they can’t be seen. Maybe until the world becomes a less violent place, we muggles should all hide under an Invisibility Cloak to feel safe.”

And I picked this comment not because it was the one downer, but because a lot of comments suggested that this is how they would use the Invisibility Cloak.

Eric: That’s lovely.

Michael: To hide, or to better the world in some way. And I was really… that comment just was so interesting to me in terms of… we’ve been reading Harry Potter both in the context of as a reread and new things we discover, as well as how it was reflective of the time that it came out. And it’s really interesting to me to see… I wouldn’t necessarily be confident in saying that perhaps ten or twenty years ago, this is what people would say they would use an Invisibility Cloak for.

Eric: What shocks me – and I was thinking about this a lot while reading the last chapter – is the Cloak that Harry has had since he was 11… and it’s not just any cloak, but it’s this Hallow that’s existed for let’s say centuries. And it could quite save the world, which I guess is partially what it ends up helping to do. But in Year 1, he was using it to get extra chocolates off of the train.

[Alison laughs]

Eric: He wasn’t, but it just seems so…

Michael: Petty.

Eric: … frivolous and petty, what he actually… the track record of Harry using the Cloak… like getting sweets from Honeydukes in Year 3 because he was feeling a little alone.

[Michael laughs]

Eric: It’s really funny to think of the Cloak because it is this epic relic of this mythical story brought to life and it’s this amazing thing.

Jordan: Well, yeah, and his father before him did the same thing.

Eric: Yeah, they just use it because it’s convenient to get extra food out of the kitchens.

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: Well, the Cloak comes into its own, definitely, I’d say.

Alison: Yeah, I think the real power of the Cloak, which is… I think this is a good comment, but I’m going to throw in a little bit of my more Gryffindor side perspective. The real power of the Cloak is knowing when to take it off…

Michael: Mmm.

Eric: Wow.

Alison: … and is being able to know the moment when you turn to face what you think you should be afraid of and greet it head on, which is why… I don’t know. The last line of this… this is a good comment, but – DreamGalleon, don’t take this personally – I think the, “We should all hide under an Invisibility Cloak to feel safe,” kind of… not cheapens the idea of the Cloak, but I just think part of the real power of the Cloak is you know when to take it off and face the problems, and that’s where the big thing is.

Jordan: Yeah, that’s why it’s so important.

Alison: Yeah.

Jordan: That’s such a vital part of the Hallows because it takes you through your life to death.

Eric: It’s a very useful… yeah. No, I would agree with that completely in effect that the first part of that sentence, “Maybe until the world becomes a less violent place…” actually, that world won’t just become that way.

Alison: Yeah.

Eric: People really actually have to act, and brave souls do all the time. The bravest of heroes are fighting to make the world a better place. So the Cloak is in fact a very useful tool. I mean, it eludes Death itself. But I think Alison is… I think you’re onto something there.

Michael: Yeah, what Alison said is the reason I picked the comment, just because I was so flabbergasted as I went through the comments. And the people who picked the Cloak; really, the horrific situations that they were saying that they have actually been put in in life that they wish they had had a Cloak for.

Eric: Yeah.

Michael: And really, again, I just feel like even when Harry Potter came out ten years ago… and to be topical as far as world politics and major world events in the last years I think pre- and post-9/11 really affected Harry Potter.

Alison: Oh, definitely.

Michael: And I think it affected a lot of the generations that came after it and the generation that was already alive before it. And I think you see some of that in the… I’m just shocked that… like I said, I was so shocked at how many people came up with these situations for the Cloak.

Jordan: Well, in the question it does say, “We want to get to know you as well as you know us,” so…

Alison and Michael: Yeah.

Jordan: People rose to that challenge.

Eric: People bared their souls.

Michael: Absolutely. I was just, again, thinking of… because I personally said I’d pick the Cloak, and I really do think of it as, “I’m going to go get free movies and watch movies for free and travel the world and…”

[Alison laughs]

Michael: And quite a few people said that, as well. People were very intrigued by the idea of being able to actually travel the world. That one was brought up a lot.

Jordan: Yeah, I almost commented and said exactly that. [laughs]

Eric: Without a ticket? Like travel the world without a ticket and never get caught. Do it for free.

Michael: People were crazy about that idea.

Eric: I honestly think that all of them are supposed to be appealing, as appealing as the Cloak is to people who have wanted to get away… isn’t there a moment we can all think of where it would have been cool to be invisible and to escape either trouble or persecution? Like getting into trouble [or] being seen some time when you just wanted to be alone or not seen, sure. There’s also a time in our past where we all probably would have enjoyed an unbeatable… to win a fight that we could… the odds were against us. We’ve all had a fight that we lost in our history. So I think… and we’ve all had the moments of grieving where we wish somebody who was gone would be around again. So I think it’s meant to be that each of these Hallows are supposed to be… I want to say equally tempting. If they’re not, that’s okay. It reflects every individual person but they’re all supposed to tempt parts of us, in order to better understand why somebody like Harry becomes obsessed with all of them.

Alison: Yeah, and I think, too, that natural… these desires for these things… your reasoning and your motivation is a big thing behind it, and I think that’s the lesson that she’s trying to put into this quest for the Hallows is: Okay, why do you want it? And that’s what we learn through it, is… the only phrase I can think of is “Righteous desire,” [laughs] which is a very church thing to say, for me. But your motivation behind getting it is going to determine whether it’s going to be a good thing or a bad thing. And that’s kind of the lesson behind this story.

Michael: Speaking of righteous desire, our last comment comes from MartinMiggs, and this comment was very reflective of a lot of the comments on the Wand. And I found this as I went through almost… I wouldn’t say every, but almost every comment about the Wand. There’s almost a hole in all of your reasonings for wanting the Wand. [laughs] And Martin Miggs’s was the comment I chose, and Martin Miggs said,

“I would take the Wand. The Wand may have a bloody history but you don’t have to use it for that purpose you could just as easily choose to use it to solve world hunger or anything else and if you can keep your mouth shut about having the most powerful wand in existence (like Harry or Dumbledore) then you wouldn’t have to worry about others trying to kill you, stealing the wand, etc.”

Alison: But is it Hermione who says, “But could you keep your mouth shut?”

Michael: Yes.

Eric: Could you? Could you?

Michael: And a few people brought that up, that it’s seemingly impossible to keep quiet about the wand. And I also figured, well, if you are using it to basically create world peace and end hunger, somebody is probably going to say, “Well, there’s something special about that person.” [laughs]

Eric: You’re actually going to make enemies, and you’ll still sort of become a target even if you’re doing excessive good, which I don’t think there is such a thing. Everybody should do as many good acts as they possibly can. But if you’re so unrivaled…

Michael: Well, that’s perhaps the idea of the “No good deed goes unpunished” type thing, where there’s… a lot of people who said they wanted to do good deeds with the wand tended to discount the wants and desires of other people, which I think is part of the wand’s downfall, right? It doesn’t necessarily matter what you’re using the wand for if word gets out that you have a wand.

Eric: Somebody who seeks to do worse than you would take it from you. And I’d like to think that even though the Elder Wand can mend other wands, I would like to think that other rules such as Gamp’s Law would still apply and solving world hunger would not be as easy as just creating food because you still can’t do that.

Michael: No matter how good your wand is! [laughs]

Eric: Yeah. Well, if you could… because it’s still a wand…

Michael: It’s still a wand, yeah.

Eric: There are still limitations. If you could somehow go to every village where there isn’t clean water and use your wand to construct a well by digging into the ground perfectly and having that all work, and then they could teach people agriculture and stuff like that and do that, then maybe yes, you would do it. But there isn’t… a wand is not an easy fix no matter what. And you couldn’t do it without drawing attention so I do actually agree that you probably couldn’t keep the wand safely without being figured out.

Michael: Yeah. So you’re basically going to have to become a superhero. It’s the issue of the superhero. You can have Spider-Man’s powers, but then you can’t have a relationship with Mary Jane. Sorry, can’t have them both.

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Eric: I wish…. but Dumbledore really was a superhero in a way, right?

Michael: Yup. And then he died. [laughs]

Eric: Well, he did die. But he used, for some time, the Elder Wand directly against Voldemort.

Michael: But just like Spider-Man, he sacrificed his love life. But those were just some of the fantastic responses we got for the Podcast Question of the Week. I did want to do a Shout-out Maxima. Unfortunately, I can’t do a regular shout-out to all of you because there were so many of you who contributed and such great comments. But Shout-out Maxima to the usernames [as Snape] Page 394…

[Alison laughs]

Michael: … Silverdoe25, and YoRufusOnFire. The three of you also had excellent comments that I almost was able to use on the show but I just didn’t have enough space or time for them. But all of the comments from this week were excellent and really interesting explanations for your reasons for choosing the Hallows. So check all those comments out at Oh, and also, as I mentioned before because I see we have a little plug for it here in the script…

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Michael: As I did mention before, speaking of “The Tale of the Three Brothers,” which has been the focus for this episode and the last, once again, I did do a theatrical reading of “The Tale of the Three Brothers.” It wasn’t meant to be theatrical but then, of course, give Michael some editing software and sound effects and he will go crazy.

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: So it became a theatrical reading of “The Tale of the Three Brothers,” which you can hear the whole thing of if you donate to our Patreon account. If you help us out with keeping Alohomora! going, we have some kind of brainstorming that we are doing as we come to the end of the reread and we definitely have some ideas but we need some help with our funding for that. So please head over to our Patreon page, which you can get a link to at And as a thank you, you will get that full reading of “The Tale of the Three Brothers.”

Eric: I cannot stress enough. Definitely go check that out. Patreon is very important to the continued-ness of many podcasts. It’s crucial because otherwise funding is very hard to come by.

Michael: So if you want a link directly to our Patreon page, listeners, it’s just Hey!

Eric: Nice.

Michael: Kept it simple for you.

Alison: Yay!

[Michael laughs]

Eric: And now we go onto what could be… Michael, I did look it up. Could be the eponymous…

Michael: It is eponymous, okay. [laughs]

Eric: Yes, although I also found the phrase I was thinking of, which was title track.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Like off of an album? I don’t know. [laughs] The title track chapter of this book.

[Deathly Hallows Chapter 22 intro begins]

[Sound of radio being tuned]

Ron: Chapter 22, “The Deathly Hallows.”

[Sound of radio cutting off]

[Deathly Hallows Chapter 22 intro ends]

Eric: And now here is the summary for Chapter 22 of Deathly Hallows, “The Deathly Hallows.”

[Michael laughs]

Eric: Following their daring escape from Xenophilius Lovegood’s home, Harry is propelled forward with excitement about the Deathly Hallows, toward making all sorts of correct assumptions. However, this quickly grows into a complete obsession of the Deathly Hallows, where the search for the Horcruxes consequently suffers in the coming months. Sometime in March, Ron successfully tunes into Potterwatch, and the trio hears familiar voices before Harry says something he shouldn’t and puts them all in too much danger.

Michael: Stupid, stupid Harry.

Jordan: Dun, dun, dun.

Eric: That happens way at the end of this chapter. There’s a lot to get through before the Potterwatch stuff.

Michael: Yeah, there is.

Eric: The trio arrives and they’re safe from the battle essentially, and they begin the chapter thanking Hermione for being a genius. She was of course right; she was correct about the fact that it was an Erumpent horn – very explosive – and also in her hesitation to Apparate away. She made sure that the bad guys could see them just before in the hopes that Luna would be returned to him. So that’s all interesting, and the trio takes a moment to deal with the idea that Luna has been captured and they don’t know where she is. But then the conversation moves onto a more reflective, “What did we just go and do?” And I was disappointed because reading this for the first time in a couple years, I had forgotten just how negative Hermione is. She is really convinced that they have actually just wasted their time. And she almost ignores all the revelations that I felt were group revelations, such as the Cloak and a number of other conversations they had with Xeno in the last chapter. So Hermione is convinced… she says to Harry, “This was another Godric’s Hollow all over again. Complete waste of time.” And Ron, still trying to please Hermione, kind of sides with her. He’s a little bit on Harry’s side, a little bit not. But ultimately Harry is the one who feels the strongest about the fact that the trip was well worth it and Harry sees clarity where there just was none before.

Jordan: I really like how Ron brings up from his personal experience; he knows that lying under pressure is a lot harder than you think it is.

Eric: Yes.

Jordan: And that’s how he knows that Xeno was telling the truth the whole time.

Michael: Yeah, kudos to… I know you just said, Eric, that Ron is still trying to get on Hermione’s good side, but actually, I think for the first time that I read this chapter, I was like, “No, Ron is being legit smart.”

Alison: Yeah.

Michael: He went out and got himself some life experience…

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Michael: … and he’s on top of it now.

Eric: Just picked it up at the store.

Michael: I love how… it’s a really subtle thing. But Rowling mentions it in the text; she says that once they get back in the tent, Ron is the one who makes tea. And I was like, “That’s something Ron hasn’t ever done before.” He’s going and taking the lead on the household-y type things. He’s pulling his weight all of a sudden. And then – like you said, Jordan – with how Ron explains why he knows Xenophilius isn’t lying; that’s a very smart thing of Ron to say. That’s a very astute observation on Ron’s part.

Eric: Completely agreed. And they both – Ron and Harry – have their own connection to, and in addition to that, why… they believe that it’s at least very possible. Hermione is really not willing to agree that it’s even possible for the Deathly Hallows to exist. But Ron mentions the Chamber of Secrets, which turned out to be a real thing after all, and it was a myth that even apparently all of the teachers at Hogwarts thought was not real. So I’d say that’s good evidence, or good, like, “Hey, this happened.” But Harry also brings up his connection with Priori Incantatem, and I think it’s a little… it’s intentionally… he’s not fully there at first because he seems to connect his wand with being something to do with death. He doesn’t immediately make the connection. But I think that it’s all right for reasons we’ve already talked about at the top of this episode, like Priori Incantatem: What happens with those memories when he sees his parents is tied into – and I think feeds into – his what is quickly growing into an obsession with death in general, with these Hallows, [and] with the idea that there are these relics. So actually, it’s interesting because talking about his parents… and in the last chapter when everybody says which one they’d take and it’s all different and he says the Stone, I think then Ron and Hermione both look down, but he actually gets the sense right off the bat in this chapter that he has weirded Hermione out [and] that she is physically uncomfortable. He changes topics, going over to the Peverells to specifically make her feel a little bit better that he’s not doting on death. But then the rest of this chapter he proceeds to totally dote on death.

[Michael laughs]

Eric: But he at least has the good sense… for months he’s all, “Deathly Hallows, Deathly Hallows!” But it’s weird because it’s clearly an important character moment where Hermione just feels so bad for him, but doesn’t say it…

Michael: Well, I feel like there’s something else there, too, with Hermione because what I found interesting in tandem with that is that when Harry is insisting, “Well, don’t you see the Deathly Hallows, the fairytale is real?” And Hermione’s response to that is… she says, “It’s a story about people’s fear of death,” and what an interesting takeaway for Hermione from “The Tale of the Three Brothers”; that’s what she gets out of it.

Alison: That’s very much, though… I think that almost speaks to her learning Muggle fairytales, though, in that that’s a very common motif or theme that’s found in Muggle fairytales and folktales, and so that sounds very much like… and that’s the way most myths, legends, [and] folktales are… analyzed. That’s the word I’m looking for. [laughs] And so that to me speaks very much of Hermione was probably taught that fairytales are just these nice little things that show us that interpretation. And I still think some of these out-of-the-blue things in the magical world scare Hermione a little bit. She doesn’t like Divination because it’s not something that really makes sense, and the fact that a fairytale could be right with magic that she doesn’t quite understand is not anything she wants anything to do with.

Jordan: I did find it surprising that Hermione didn’t take away from it, “Keep your head down; don’t go looking for trouble,” as the moral. I’m surprised she says that this is how people are scared of death. I didn’t get that from that story at all, and I think of myself as thinking pretty similar[ly] to Hermione most of the time.

Michael: Yeah. That’s why I was so struck by that, just because it really speaks, I think, to her visceral reaction in this chapter to Harry’s discussions on death. She just seems so unnerved and disturbed by it.

Alison: Well, she’s never really had experience with death very close to her.

Michael: Yeah, as far we know.

Alison: Whereas Harry and Ron both have had family that have died.

Michael: Well, that I guess, too, goes in tandem with Hermione’s – and you were saying this already, Alison – but Hermione’s fear of what she can’t understand…

Alison: Yeah.

Michael: … something that can’t be proven. Hermione does have definitely a fear of… and it’s funny because I think back to when we see her “greatest fear” in Prisoner of Azkaban, which is McGonagall telling her that she failed everything.

[Alison laughs]

Michael: And I feel like that’s not what her boggart would be anymore.

Alison: No, definitely not.

Eric: No, see, I don’t know. She’s very rooted to the real world, though; things that you can touch and feel.

Michael: But that’s what I’m saying, is almost that her fear has evolved from something so simple. And I think it’s because of the things she’s seen that I think there’s now a fear in Hermione of the unexplainable.

Eric: That’s interesting.

Jordan: What shape do you think that boggart would take?

Michael: I don’t know. She’d look at the boggart and be like, “I can’t explain this!”

[Everyone laughs]

Alison: Well, that’s always been my question with her original one, though, too, is how do you have a boggart of something more abstract? Maybe her greatest fear is just failure in general. Because honestly, if I thought of mine it would probably be pain or failure, and how does that manifest into something corporeal that this creature can become? So yeah, I don’t know what it would be to properly…

Jordan: Maybe just a giant letter “F”.

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Eric: Yeah, singing and dancing like in Schoolhouse Rock.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Pretty terrifying. I think that with Hermione, there is something to be said by… and I’m shocked that J.K. Rowling wrote any character saying this to Hermione, that she’s closed-minded. But Xenophilius’s words to her echo Trelawney’s…

Alison and Michael: Yeah.

Eric: … and Trelawney is very acknowledged to be a kook most of the time. Xenophilius… actually, I guess Xenophilius is really no different.

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Eric: Two kooks have said to Hermione, “You are closed-minded.” But that doesn’t make it any less true even though they’re kooks. I think she really does have a very real limit. And I think it doesn’t make her any less realistic. I think it makes her a realistic person.

Alison: Definitely.

Eric: There are people who cannot comprehend the sort of things that Harry is asking her to do. The state of the world is asking her to comprehend these myths and things as real and it’s just that she’s hit a limit. She is a skeptic. I would never have really described Hermione as a skeptic prior to the events of these chapters, but she really is. There is a hard limit that she does not cross. And even though she has evolved from Book 1, when it was like if she hadn’t read it in a book it couldn’t possibly be true, that’s changed. But she still hasn’t grown so far from there where she is willing to immediately embrace these crazy notions of crazy people shouted at her as she’s trying to escape death. I think there is still a very real limit for her, but it’s not unrealistic and it’s not bad writing.

Michael: Yeah, I’ve always seen… I think it’s prominent in this chapter, and it’s throughout all the books but really here in Hallows; this is why the trio is such an important cohesive group and why Dumbledore was so intent, perhaps, on keeping them together and making sure that Hermione and Ron went with Harry because it’s Hermione’s skepticism that, while it may be seen as… because of course we’re getting it all from Harry’s perspective and Hermione’s skepticism is seen as… basically we’re supposed to say at the beginning of the chapter, “Oh, Hermione is awesome. We love Hermione.” And then all of a sudden, “Hermione is such a poop; she’s always in the way.”

[Alison laughs]

Michael: And I think that’s important, though because Hermione is going to temper Harry’s grandiose notions about the Hallows.

Alison: Yeah. Well, I think part of Hermione’s hesitation to believe in the Hallows is Hermione is very dead set on their goal. She has always been very goal-oriented and their goal is destroy Horcruxes. And I think Hermione just wants this all to be over. I think she’s not going to show it as much as say Ron does, but Hermione just wants it to be over. She wants everyone to be safe. She wants her family back. She wants to go back to school. She doesn’t want anything deterring them from this path and taking them off into crazy places. She just wants to get the job done and finish it and go back to life.

Eric: Well, and death is not something that you should be excited about surrounding yourself with…

Alison: No, no.

Eric: … is the other thing. And so she sees her friend… this looks very much like a downward spiral. The funny part is Harry is actually exactly right and the conclusions that he comes to in this chapter are all very spot on, dangerously spot on. But still, he is becoming obsessed with death and that’s not something you would want your friend to do in any circumstances because it does leave this air of dissatisfaction [and] unsettlement, and makes you worry about that friend more than you normally would. I know she’s his equal but she’s still looking at Harry to save them all, as is everyone else in the world.

Alison: Yeah.

Eric: And when you become preoccupied with something like death it equates in your mind sometimes to that person has given up on life. But talking about Harry’s revelations, it really is quite cool how he begins to try and make himself sound more sane to Hermione by asking her if she’s read if there’s a basis in reality about things like the Peverells. When all of a sudden, as if intended, the recollection hits him of where he heard the name Peverell before. And we are immediately taken to… I love the writing so I copied the quote, “A filthy old man brandishing an ugly ring in the face of a Ministry official.” And Harry shouts, “Marvolo Gaunt!” And they’re like, “What?” And then he says, “Marvolo Gaunt in the Pensieve with Dumbledore!” And it sounds like you’ve just won Clue.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: But he comes to this huge realization; there’s a widening of her eyes. And Harry makes the connection between the Peverells, all of the magical families, and his own family.

Jordan: Can I just ask how Ron didn’t know what “extinct in the male line” meant?

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Michael: Okay, so he’s not all completely on it in this chapter…

Alison: It’s a weird phrase, though.

Jordan: I was like, “He’s from a pure-blood family; I feel like he would know that.”

[Michael laughs]

Alison: Yeah, but they don’t care…

Eric: It should almost be… to be fair, Hermione’s book was what, Ancient Magical Pure-Blood Families?

Alison: Yeah.

Eric: So maybe it’s less commonly known. But I feel like because it’s also been emphasized there were very few pure-blood families left, that you would maybe as a game as a child is to name all the remaining pure-blood families.

Alison: But the Weasleys don’t care, though.

Jordan: I feel like that’s something that the Malfoys would do.

Alison and Eric: Yeah.

Alison: But the Weasleys don’t care. So I doubt he even thought about that much as a kid.

Michael: I think you can actually do that and name the families because Pottermore has what’s called the “Sacred 28,” isn’t it?

Alison: Yeah.

Michael: It’s a pure-blood directory that exists in the wizarding world that does give supposedly all of the pure-blood families. But of course, Rowling notes on Pottermore that a bunch of those families lied about their heritage.

[Eric and Michael laugh]

Michael: So it’s not necessarily correct. But yes, theoretically you could play that game!

[Alison laughs]

Eric: So Harry… here are all the conclusions. Well, not all of… it would be exhausting to write them all out. But the conclusions that Harry leaps to which are entirely true: What Marvolo Gaunt referred to as the Peverell Crest is in fact the sign of the Dealthy Hallows. He makes that leap which leads him to leap to the stone inside the Gaunts’ ring is actually the Resurrection Stone. That’s true.

Michael: It must be hovering in there or something because I feel like you could just shake it like a present, right?

Jordan: Yeah, it would rattle around.

Alison: [laughs] You shake it and it’s rattling around.

[Michael laughs]

Jordan: Must have a permanent Wingardium Leviosa in there.

Michael: Yeah.

Michael: Yes, it’s just floating in there.

Eric: So the entire revelation that Harry has in this chapter regarding the ring being the stone, or having the stone in it, that Dumbledore came into contact with it, he also makes the connection that Dumbledore had his cloak before. So clearly Dumbledore was, at one point, on the path of the Deathly Hallows. The fact that Dumbledore was writing the symbol to Grindelwald, that the symbol is on the Peverells’ tomb is all connected, and he fully understands and is exactly 100% right about everything regarding that. So that’s nice; that’s really cool. And what it comes down to though is the question in this chapter, which is in this chapter first, and I think it’s the equivalent of camping for the next five chapters: Hallows or Horcruxes? And which is more important, which is the quest that Dumbledore truly put them on? Harry says, regarding the Hallows, “This seems like something that he would do, that you’ve got to figure it out on your own, that I should come into this knowledge, that Dumbledore never would have said anything directly to me while he was alive about the Hallows because it’s a quest, after all, Hermione, it’s a quest!” But then there’s the actual common sense fact of the Horcrux book, which Dumbledore also made available to Hermione, the fact that Dumbledore spent nights and weekends actually talking to Harry about Horcruxes and putting him on the path of destroying Voldemort’s Horcruxes, that actually during this re-read, more than ever I saw that it’s actually kind of on equal footing of what did Dumbledore really want them to focus on? Because he really did put Harry on the path of Horcruxes pretty strongly, and this Hallows thing is more along the lines of a lucky happenstance of this plot that propels them into knowing.

Michael: Yeah, I think Dumbledore… this is interesting, because I remember a few of the hosts in previous shows saying… and I think this might be a simplification of the idea, but a few of the hosts have said in the past, “Well, Dumbledore didn’t want Harry to know that much about the Hallows.” And I think what’s going on here is more akin to what Harry said. I think he’s misspeaking, but he doesn’t quite understand it. And that’s what’s the key, is that I think Dumbledore wanted… I think Dumbledore knew that Harry would think, “If I get all three, then I’m the master of Death and I’ll be safe!” And I think that’s the element of Harry, where he says, “Well, it’s a quest, Hermione. That’s why he didn’t tell me.” And in a way it is, but it’s not a quest to acquire the Hallows; it’s kind of a quest to fully understand the Hallows. Because Harry gains an extremely deep understanding that, as he notes in this chapter, nobody else gets. Because Voldemort is seeking the Elder Wand, not even having heard “The Tale of the Three Brothers.” He just heard that there’s this powerful wand out there and he wants it.

Eric: Well, that’s another amazing deduction by Harry…

Michael: Yes!

Eric: … that he’s like, “Voldemort was raised in an orphanage…”

[Michael laughs]

Eric: “He clearly never would have grown up hearing The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Therefore, he doesn’t know about the Deathly Hallows; therefore, he’s been seeking this wand which he doesn’t really know is part of the three; otherwise he’d probably already be the master of Death by now.”

Jordan: Well, I think that’s a logical conclusion because he knows that Voldemort’s life paralleled his own, in some ways.

Eric: Yeah, that’s right, except if you count the logical conclusions Harry comes to in this chapter alone…

[Michael laughs]

Eric: … and compare them with all the logical conclusions he’s ever made before…

Jordan: In the entire series?

Eric: … in the entire series, it’s way lopsided.

Michael: Well, it’s one of the unusual times when he has almost all the information he needs.

Alison: Ooh, ooh! I have a theory! I have a theory!

Michael: Ooh?

Eric: Go ahead.

Alison: It’s almost like a red herring, that he knows so much. But he’s never known this much before, so it’s almost like we’re supposed to discount this information…

[Michael laughs]

Alison: … where it’s like, “Nah, it can’t possibly be true if Harry’s jumping to all these conclusions. This has never worked before.” But he’s actually getting everything right. It’s one of those brilliant things that Jo does to kind of slip the truth in there before it actually all comes out. It’s actually really clever to this time put it to Harry. It’s almost like Draco all over again.

Michael: Well, yeah, I was going to say that because … in a way, I find that regardless of whether Harry is wrong or right, throughout the series I always as a reader, especially in my initial read, want him to be right.

Alison: Yeah.

Michael: So it’s like I as a reader almost discount when… and again it’s so well done because it’s through Harry’s perspective. So if he gets dissenting opinions from other people, you’re inclined… you’re biased to Harry’s belief. So if he kind of puts those beliefs down, then you as the reader do.

Jordan: You know what this kind of reminds me of, this whole revelation thing? When Harry is taking the History of Magic test, he wakes up from the dream of seeing Sirius tortured, and he’s like, “We have to go right now! Why aren’t you listening to me?” It’s the same [thing].

Michael: Well, and I think that’s actually… and I’m surprised that incident isn’t referenced in the book’s past order. Because I think, and I brought this up before – we’ve talked about this before – but I actually think that incident in particular has left Hermione and Ron with some scars.

Alison: Oh, yeah.

Jordan: Yeah, definitely.

Michael: And then…

Alison: Literally.

Michael: Yeah… well, yes, indeed. And I think…

Eric: Ron’s hairline will just never…

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Michael: And I think that’s definitely caused their beliefs in Harry to falter. Because Ron, I think up to that book, was always happy to go along with Harry’s theories… and really kind of liked outlandish stuff. And after Book 5, he doesn’t do that as much anymore.

Eric: I will say what I found to be really clever on Jo’s part and intelligent about the Hallows versus Horcruxes debate, which is brought up here for the first time, is that the Horcruxes – the quest for the Horcruxes – [are] perfectly aligned to bring down Lord Voldemort once and for all by basically deflating the methods that he’s used to stay alive so long and cheat death. However, the quest for the Hallows – the knowledge, all the knowledge that they just inherited this very second and in the previous chapter – allow them to, for the first time in this book, know exactly what Voldemort is up to in this book.

Alison: Mhm.

Eric: So it’s really like all of a sudden, you know exactly what your enemy wants. And that’s really interesting and really exciting, and it puts Voldemort in a very, more vulnerable position. Because not only are they on the path to defeating him by removing his soul from the earth, but they’re also… Harry for the first time is clued in to exactly why he’s travelling the country, which comes up later in the chapter, and all of that. Harry just gets it. And I’m like, you know what? They actually for the first time have Voldemort’s number here in having this knowledge. They just don’t know that they have it, and Hermione and Ron aren’t agreeing with Harry.

Michael: That’s really interesting. I never thought of it that way, but that’s true. Every other book where Voldemort makes an appearance, his motivations aren’t known until the climax. So yeah, this is the first one where we’ve actually got an answer for what Voldemort’s up to.

Eric: But he quickly becomes obsessed, and this is where we go through the passage of time. Here’s a quote from the books: “And he saw himself possessor of the Hallows.” It’s pretty interesting, some of the words she uses to describe the cloak: “the cloth, supple as water, softer than air.” Basically, when he’s ogling the cloak with his mind, he accidentally knocks the Snitch out of the pocket, and he’s like, “And the stone, which is in this Snitch!”

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Eric: “It’s clearly the other Deathly Hallow!”

Michael: I mean, if he’s saying it like that, I can see why Hermione thinks he might be a little crazy.

[Alison and Jordan laugh]

Eric: I’m pretty sure he’s saying it exactly like that.

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Eric: So the consequences, the repercussions, the negative things of Harry being so obsessed… this is a quote from the books: “The mystery of the silver doe was a vaguely interesting sideshow to Harry.” [laughs]

Michael: Seriously, though, who cares? Stupid Snape.

[Alison laughs]

Eric: “A vaguely interesting sideshow.”

Alison: Amen.

[Michael laughs]

Alison: No one cares about Snape! No one cares!

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Eric: Yeah, no one cares about the silver doe. This is the closest thing Harry has come to a near-death experience involving the locket tightening its chain while he was in freezing water, nude, or severely dressed down.

[Michael laughs]

Eric: And it’s just a sideshow compared to what he now obsesses over. Also, his scar has begun prickling again.

Michael: But interestingly, it’s not working right.

Eric: Yeah. He thinks it might be broken.

Michael: Yeah, he’s like, “Oh, my wand broke, so my signal broke. That was my antenna.”

[Alison, Eric, and Michael laugh]

Eric: Yeah.

Michael: Which is not correct. But I thought [about] one of the major repercussions for this obsession, and this is the first time I read this passage in the book and it really kind of freaked me out. It’s when Harry’s lying in bed and he’s thinking about, “Oh, I could be master of Death; I could have all three of these.” And then his mind briefly is like, “Oh God, I haven’t been thinking about Luna. Luna could be in jail; she could be in Azkaban.” And then his thoughts kind of just turn to, “Well, I could get her out if I had a powerful wand… like the Elder Wand.”

[Alison laughs]

Michael: And then he just kind of goes right back into it, and it’s actually kind of scary. I think that’s a really great passage that truly shows the obsession that he’s forgetting his friends. He’s forgetting what’s important.

Alison: Yeah.

Eric: I think the point of having his scar connection be a little blurry, a little out of focus, is to show that Harry isn’t necessarily inheriting Voldemort’s thirst for the wand…

Michael: Hmm.

Eric: That Harry is on his own in his obsession. He wants the Elder Wand as much or more than Voldemort. It could be argued more because he actually knows what it is, too and Voldemort doesn’t. But he wants it – it’s separate; his obsession is separate from Voldemort’s.Michael: Is there an explanation later down the line of why the connection has become fuzzy? Because I couldn’t remember it.

Alison: I can’t remember one now either.

Jordan: I thought it was because Voldemort wasn’t feeling anything that strongly.

Alison: Or he was trying to use Occlumency again.

Michael: Hmm.

Eric: Yeah. That’s what I guessed it was.

Michael: That’s what I assumed it was, but I wasn’t sure if it was explained later down the line or not. I’m sure we’ll find out.

Eric: Yeah.

Jordan: I don’t think it is.

Eric: But just going towards the end of the chapter again, there was a passage… several months passed during this chapter, which is just…

Michael: [laughs]


Eric: It’s now March, so whatever. But we get to this wonderful radio show called PotterCast – oh, sorry, Potterwatch.

[Michael laughs]

Eric: Which happens to be what friends of Harry and Ron and Hermione’s have that are secret. Now Ron has mentioned this before, or at least we’ve seen him in an earlier chapter banging on the radio, muttering incantations, turning the dials up both by hand and with his wand. But this is something that becomes a regular occurrence for Ron – maybe he’s becoming obsessed with the radio – but he actually succeeds in guessing the password, which is “Albus,” and is able to tune in with the trio listening to an episode of Potterwatch.

Michael: Which is worthwhile to mention too because we had brought this up quite a few episodes ago that Ron kind of offhandedly confirmed something we had pondered about, which is that all of the other wizarding radio networks have been taken over by Voldemort propaganda.

Eric: Yeah.

Michael: And this is the only one that hasn’t yet.

Eric: It’s really interesting juxtaposing this revelation with the one in the previous chapter where we physically saw The Quibbler with “Undesirable Number One” on the front page.

Michael: Mhm.

Eric: Like that… to me those two are totally linked. It’s like wow, if even The Quibbler can fall, then surely all the radio stations are equally compromised…

Michael: Mhm.

Eric: Et cetera. So actually, the funny thing that I thought right off the bat was… well, they hear Lee Jordan, which is awesome. And his codename is River, which is pretty cool.

Michael: It’s totally my head canon that Lee Jordan went on to broadcast for the Wizarding Wireless.

Alison: Oh! I definitely believe that.

[Michael laughs]

Alison: One hundred percent.

Eric: He’s got a flair for it.

Michael: I know.

Jordan: Yeah, he was the Quidditch announcer.

Alison: Yeah! He’s just got the voice.

Eric: The original in-canon podcaster.

[Alison laughs]

Michael: It’s a very good use of your character, Rowling. This is very clever to bring Lee Jordan back in this particular capacity. He’s the wizarding world voiceover!

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Michael: I love that.

Eric: He is.

Alison: I like “Original Podcaster.”

Michael: Yeah. [laughs]

Alison: Sidenote, let’s make that the episode title: “Original Podcaster: OP.”

Eric: The OP? Oh, God.

[Alison laughs]

Michael: If you get the right password, can you download Potterwatch on iTunes?

[Alison laughs]

Eric: What’s funny is… I think so. I think that must be.

[Michael laughs]

Eric: What’s funny is they say they haven’t broadcast in a while. Which leads me… the broadcaster in me is like, so clearly they’ve never able to predict when their next broadcast will be. Oh, I guess they do give the password away though. To people who do habitually listen, they give the next password for it. But actually for weeks of Ron’s trying, it could have just been that he was saying all the right things but that…

Michael: Dead air.

Eric: … they just weren’t broadcasting.

Alison: Yeah.

Eric: You kind of have to do it exactly when they’re broadcasting for it to… but again, they were interrupted and had to find new quarters, new places to do it.

Michael: So it’s a one in a million chance that you’re even going to get to listen to the show.

Eric: Really.

[Michael laughs]

Eric: Yeah. We do get a deaths update, which I think is very important.

Michael: Aww!

Eric: It’s important that they’re doing this because they are so many people spreading misinformation or preventing information from going, that their first order of business before they’re talking about matters that are – I don’t want to say topical because deaths are very topical – but the first thing they do is say, “These are all the deaths that have not been reported, and you should know about them.” And that’s very in-your-face-Ministry, it’s very anarchist to this flawed government, and it also allows people the proper opportunity to mourn, I think. And the minute of silence that they ask for, even for the Muggles, just sets the tone. These are the coolest people in radio right now in this world.

Jordan: So do you think that this would be like the first time that the Tonks family would hear about [Ted’s] death?

[Alison gasps]

Eric: I wonder.

Alison: Oh!

Michael: I’m assuming since Lupin also probably…

Jordan: Since he was there, probably not.

Michael: I think they…

Alison: Yeah.

Michael: I think this was shared before probably.

Jordan: But Dirk Cresswell, we don’t know who his family is.

Michael: Dirk Cresswell’s probably a first.

Jordan: That’s just so sad to think about.

Alison: That’s awful!

Eric: Well, some of the people joining Lee Jordan are of course Fred Weasley, who is Rodent/Rapier…

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Eric: … Royal, [laughs] who is Kingsley… and honestly, if I didn’t know what these guys’ voices sounded like but I saw a list of names on paper and then a list of their aliases, I probably could have put together every single one.

[Michael laughs]

Alison: Yeah.

Eric: These are the worse aliases ever.[Alison laughs]

Eric: Romulus instead of Remus? Really?

Michael: I…

[Alison laughs]

Eric: Are you even trying not to get caught?

Michael: … it is such a horrible alias but, at the same time, I thought it as funny because I feel like that bit is Rowling’s answer to how the Lupin’s name, Remus, would factor into his character. Because everybody thought that he was going to be killed by Peter’s silver hand, with the wolf thing, and that they were also wondering…

Eric: Right.

Michael: … like, “What does the tale of Remus and Romulus… is that going to factor in?” I think there were, actually, discussions that Remus might have a twin brother.

Eric: Yeah.

Michael: And so Rowling was like, “Nope.”

Eric: Because, why not?

Michael: “It’s just an alias. That’s all I’m going to do with that.”

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Eric: I liked that she acknowledged the Romulus connection.

Michael: Yeah, I think that’s clever.

Eric: But it’s all… but it’s not clever at all. [laughs] Like it’s not…

Alison: I think it’s… if you go, why maybe they chose those… it’s almost like… not spitting in their faces, but, “Ha ha, we’re using aliases but we know you know who we are…”

[Michael laughs]

Alison: “… and so we don’t even care.” Like, “We…”

Eric: It’s like…

Alison: “… don’t care if you know who we are.”

Eric: There’s probably a poor, downtrodden bad guy in the Ministry who’s task it is to decipher who’s aliases are what…

[Alison laughs]

Eric: … and he can’t figure it out. And he can’t do it because they’re using really simple aliases and he’s getting cursed every night and day by the Death Eaters.

Alison: It’s like Vader. [laughs]

Eric: Yes, it’s very much like Vader.

Michael: To be fair…

Alison: [laughs] And no one figured it out!

Michael: To be fair, we have become, by this point, we – as a fandom – had become every jaded because, in the early books, everybody should have, probably based on the name, figured out the Remus was a werewolf. But a lot of people didn’t figure that out as… I certainly didn’t. And I think Rowling encouraged a generation of readers to go out and find where these names came from because that became part of the game of Harry Potter

Eric: Right.

Michael: … was to go find where this stuff came from and you might find out a little more about how this story’s going to go.

Eric: Mhm.

Michael: And by Deathly Hallows, everybody suddenly knew all of these ancient folk tales and fairy tales…

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Michael: … and myths that we didn’t know before. And now, lo and behold, we have a whole… we have tons of juvenile and young adult series based on this mythologies because she made them popular again.

Eric: So… look, there are a few really cool, really quick things that we find out. First of all, I think Ron tells Harry that Lupin is living with Tonks again and Harry is able to have this moment where, as Lupin is speaking, he wonders if Lupin, who’s asked, basically, to speak directly to Harry if Harry’s listening – which is a really cool moment – but he’s wondering if he was sort of forgiven for the bad, but true, things he said to Lupin earlier, which is nice. But on Potterwatch, they say that Xenophilius Lovegood has been imprisoned, which is the… it’s unfortunate because they probably were still seen, but, ultimately, Harry’s just like, “Okay, check him off the list; he’s alive.” It’s not…

Alison: Yeah.

Eric: … the best place for him to be, but it’s also not the worst because he could be dead. So Xeno has been imprisoned. There was a dashing escape that Rubeus Hagrid…

[Michael laughs]

Eric: … made on the school grounds…

[Alison laughs]

Michael: After so…

Eric: … after…

Michael: … after a monumentally stupid action.

Alison: [laughs] That’s awesome!

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Eric: … this was the best, most stupid thing…

[Michael laughs]

Eric: … that Hagrid could have… this late in the game too. It’s March. This is six months after a complete Death Eater takeover of Hogwarts, Hagrid has a “Support Harry Potter” party in his house.

Alison: Which is the greatest thing I’ve ever heard! Let’s be honest, I want to know…

Eric: Not even in the woods.

Alison: … I want to know who was going to that because I can just see this group and they’re just like, “What Death Eaters? Suck it!” And then they’re like…

[Jordan laughs]

Alison: … “Oh, wait. Here they come.” And so they are scattering, but…

Eric: But nobody knows the forest better than Hagrid, except maybe the centaurs, so he could have easily… and the forest has such natural protection…

Alison: And freaky spiders.

Eric: If he had just taken them to the old Hippogriff pack or something in the forest. You could have as many support Harry Potter soirées in there. But anyway, it was in his cabin. He got caught. He survived. They were really worried because Rubeus’ name was mentioned and then they all gasped but he is fine.

Michael: I love too that the Potterwatch guys all casually mention, “I guess it helps when you have a sixteen foot half-brother.” And I am like, “Yup, well, I guess nobody cares about that anymore.”

[Alison laughs]

Michael: “That is just typical knowledge in the wizarding world. Like yup, half-giant let his giant live on the grounds of Hogwarts. Nobody worry.”

Eric: But Harry compares the entire Potterwatch experience to… he says, “It was like waking from a long sleep, realizing that there are others in this world who are fighting Voldemort.” And there is actually a really profound thing that they say, which is they recognize the bravery of wizards and witches who are risking their own safety to protect their Muggle neighbors. The best line in this chapter or even book goes to Kingsley Shacklebolt who says, “Every human life is worth the same thing and worth saving.” It is incredibly profound. This could not help but lift everyone’s spirits including Harry’s and I think it is a little bit of his all of a sudden no longer feeling the stress of danger that causes him to immediately blurt out Voldemort’s name in conversation and all of a sudden, no matter how many protective charms were around them – and we know there were many – they are gone because of the Taboo. Ron explained, actually, clearer than I remember him explaining, what exactly that did earlier on and now it is very clear that they have to try and immediately put the spells up but it is too late.

Michael: Before we end on the note of Harry’s extreme stupidity…

[Alison laughs]

Michael: … because that is a great line, Eric, from Kingsley. I really also enjoy and reading this line I was like, “Wow, this is still frighteningly relevant.” That fantastic line right before it that Kingsley says, when Lee asks him, “‘And what would you say, Royal, to those listeners who reply that in these dangerous times it should be wizards first?’ asked Lee. ‘I would say that it is one short step from wizards first to pure-bloods first and then to Death Eaters,’ replied Kingsley.'” And I thought that is a great preface line of it is a good, simplistic breakdown of how prejudice happens. That idea that every man for himself… it truly does become every man for himself and that we do not look out for the people who are right next to us anymore. That line was written by Rowling and released in 2007 and here we are almost ten years later and that line still echoes quite a bit. I like that that the narration very carefully, I never noticed it before, it very carefully leads up to Harry saying Voldemort’s name aloud.

Jordan: It is just so weird because in the whole chapter he says You-Know-Who. He says it three times and then here he is just like, “Voldemort.” And Ron is like, “Oh my God!”

Michael: It is so confident, guys, “I am going to say it.” I love it too because in the narration right before it the narrative thought of Harry uses Voldemort instead of You-Know-Who, so it is building up his – what Eric is saying – over-confidence.

Eric: His hardiness.

Michael: And his big whoopsy. My favorite, I was trying to find it during the show and I could not find it but there is a comic that somebody drew somewhere, basically of this moment, pretty much word for word. But it’s just so funny because it just shows how absurd the moment is. It’s Harry saying the line of the “Vol-,” and then it’s got Ron flapping his arms.

[Alison laughs]

Michael: There’s like twenty arms on the page and him just going, “Harry! Nooo!” And then there’s actually a panel where there’s just nothing, where there both just looking at each other, and then Harry just goes “-demort.”

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: But I must say that brings us to the end of this chapter discussion of 22, “The Deathly Hallows.”

Michael: So, before we end our show today, we want to go into our last Podcast Question of the Week for this particular episode. We’re actually going to focus a little bit on the unique aspect of this chapter, which is Potterwatch, because we’ve got a few logistical questions about how Potterwatch works. And our question is,

“‘Potterwatch’ represents an unusual instance in the wizarding world, in which wizards have managed to successfully blend magic with electric-powered technology. We’re wondering how this is achieved to make things like Potterwatch and the Wizarding Wireless Network function. What kind of magic is involved? How do unique aspects of Potterwatch, like the password access, work? What other examples of Muggle technology have wizards managed to harness for themselves that might have led to their success with radio technology?”

And listeners, keep in mind, I think it’s worth… as much as I don’t recommend Pottermore anymore, I do suggest heading over there for this particular question because Rowling did write a small little section about wizarding history with Muggle technology and a few of their successful and failed attempts. But there’s definitely also plenty of examples within the Harry Potter text to look at. And to answer this question, all you have to do is go to and look for the Podcast Question of the Week post and we might read some of these responses next week.

Jordan: I hope everyone brings up Arthur Weasley.

Michael: [laughs] Yeah. It’s just inevitable, isn’t it?

Eric: And we would like to take a moment at this time to thank our guest. Jordan, thank you so much for coming on this episode of Alohomora! with us.

Jordan: You’re welcome. This was awesome. And everyone else, sign up. It’s totally worth it.

[Michael laughs]

Eric: There are precious few opportunities left for guesting. I’ll let Michael tell you more about that.

Michael: Yes, speaking of that, there are spots available to be on Alohomora! just like Jordan here, but – as Eric just said – yes, that’s getting limited. Deathly Hallows is… we’re past the halfway point. You’re seeing a lot less pages when you open up the book now. So, to make sure you can get onto one of these chapter centric discussions that we’ve got going before it’s all over, please head to the “Be on the Show” page at If you have a set of headphones with a built-in mic or a separate microphone and headphones and a recording program on your computer, that’s pretty much all you need. We don’t require anything particularly outstanding or fancy. Just enough to make sure we can get your voice logged away with ours. Yeah, no fancy equipment needed. Again, to find out how to be on the show.

Alison: And if you just want to keep in contact with us, go ahead and tweet us at @AlohomoraMN, find us on Facebook at, on Tumblr at, Instagram at @alohomoramn, or on our main website,, where you can download a ringtone for free. You can also send us an owl to Audioboom at It is completely free. All you need is to keep it under sixty seconds and we will play it on the show, hopefully.

Michael: And don’t forget about the Alohomora! store! We sell stuff!

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Eric: I like that! Less is more. In terms of… [unintelligible]

Michael: Less is more. You all know. You’ve heard the spiel. We got all that cool stuff. Water bottles, flip-flops, tote bags, all kinds of neat products with all of our little Alohomora! in-jokes and the Alohomora! logo on them. Check them out at the Alohomora! store which you can find the link to, again, at

Eric: And on that website you can find the information for our app. We app stuff!

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Michael: Yeah that works. Sure.

Eric: Eh, I don’t know. Download it for free. Just search Podcast Source in the appropriate app store for your Android or Apple phones and devices.

Michael: I’m going to go do that with my smartphone that I can do that!

Alison: Woo!

Eric: Yes! Welcome to the smartphone club!

Michael: Oh, snap. [laughs]

Jordan: I don’t know how you’ve lived so long without a smartphone. Really, though.

Michael: I call people and talk to them on the phone, which is unheard of, I know.

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Michael: I still do it.

Jordan: What is calling?

Eric: Yeah, what?

Michael: Calling people with your phone? What madness. And as a friendly reminder to you listeners out there, if you’re finding that while we may cover here at Alohomora! your need for reread, which is a great slogan…[laughs]

Eric and Michael: Need to reread.

[Alison laughs]

Michael: But as we are helping to cover your need for a reread on Alohomora!, we may not so much be covering your Fantastic Beasts needs. But that is okay. has come up with an answer for that. now also has SpeakBeasty podcast. Which I really should say with a 1920s accent.

Michael: You know, SpeakBeasty. Have you ever been to SpeakBeasty? You might want to take a listen to SpeakBeasty. You can find that through It is a great new little podcast that some of our MuggleNet friends have started. But yes, that podcast is now covering all of our Fantastic Beasts needs and getting us all hyped up for the movie.

Alison: And it is fantastic!

Michael: Oh!

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Alison: I had to throw it in there.

Michael: And of course just a friendly reminder: we are on Patreon now. I am going to shove that reminder in because it took me hours to record that very special theatrical reading of “The Tale of the Three Brothers.” Which, again, you listeners can nab as an extra special gift for giving us a little donation on Patreon to keep Alohomora! going past the initial concept. But for now, we have to go because there are Snatchers outside of the door and they want us out with our hands up.

Eric: [laughs] Who said Voldemort?

Eric and Michael: Oh!

Michael: Well, now they’re definitely out there.

Alison: It was you, Eric! Dang it!

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Eric: Come out, come out wherever you are!

[Alison and Michael laugh]

Alison: That’s a pirate!

Eric: Arr! Wherever you are!

Michael: But thank you, listeners, for tuning into this episode of Alohomora!

[Show music begins]

Michael: I’m Michael Harle.

Eric: I’m Eric Scull.

Alison: I’m Alison Siggard. Thank you for listening to Episode 172 of Alohomora!

Harry: Open the Dumble…

Ron: Harry, nooo!

Harry: … dore.

[Show music continues]

Eric: Hang on, there’s a…

Michael: Sirens! They’re coming to get you, Eric.

Eric: This is the worst…

Michael: Finally.

Eric: And a train! Ooh, I get them both in one.

[Alison and Jordan laugh]

[Prolonged silence]

Eric: Following their daring escape from Xeno… I abbreviated and I never finished it.

[Alison, Jordan, and Michael laugh]