[Show music begins]
Noah Fried: This is Episode 19 of Alohomora! for December 30th, 2012.
[Show music continues]
Noah: Hey guys, welcome to Alohomora!, another live show. I’m going to need you guys all to type in the chat if you can hear me. Please do so if you can. This is our live show for December 28th, 2012. It is a Friday. I’m in Florida on a family vacation. Noah Fried, thank you.
Caleb Graves: And I’m Caleb Graves. I am not on vacation in Florida…
Caleb: …but I am home and on vacation, sort of, so it works.
Kat Miller: I’m Kat Miller and I’m snowed in on the East Coast, so wonderful. And guys, our guest fan this week – guess who it’s going to be? All of you! So in case you didn’t know, there are two ways that you can get a hold of us: first is by phone. Give us a call at 1-206-GO-ALBUS. That’s 206-462-5287. And the second way you can contact us, and this may work best for the international listeners, is on Skype. It’s free to use, so give us a ring at AlohomoraMN. If you don’t get through the first time, keep trying because there’s a lot of people trying to call at the moment.
Caleb: Yeah, so it’s… we’re really excited about having you guys on for our second live show. It’s been a fun journey on Chamber of Secrets, so we’re looking forward to doing another live show that’s going to be so much smoother than our first one.
Kat: Absolutely. It already is, isn’t it?
[Caleb and Kat laugh]
Noah: Yeah, and during our movie watch we had a special guest, didn’t we?
Kat: We sure did, but more about that later, right?
Noah: Sure. [laughs]
Kat: And we would like to take just a quick moment to thank our sponsors, Audible. Exclusively for fans of Alohomora!, they’re offering a free audio download. They have over 100,000 titles to choose from, so head over to AudiblePodcast.com/Open to get yours now.
Caleb: Great. So, we are going to jump right into comments from our previous week when we did the last two chapters of Chamber of Secrets, Chapters 17 and 18. So to start us off, we have a comment from SiriusFan3 from the main site, and this is on the topic of dividing Horcruxes. And this user says:
“I don’t believe that the amount of soul in a Horcrux can be represented as a fraction. When we meet Tom Riddle, he calls himself a memory that had been preserved. The locket seemingly contains Riddle’s eye. Therefore, my theory is that Horcruxes contain existing parts of the soul that can be solid or not. To make a Horcrux, you most likely give up the part of your soul at the present time. (Yes, I know eyes don’t seem soul-like. But if you think about it, eyes are connected to your brain.) As Voldemort makes more Horcruxes, the less obvious the part of the soul becomes. Since the diary contains memory – what I’d call the most important – it would be the first Horcrux. I think this explains really how evil Horcruxes are.”
Noah: Yeah, I feel like we touched on this on an earlier episode, didn’t we?
Kat: Yeah, very briefly I think. Yeah.
Noah: Because at least I had a theory that when you… your soul has a… it can be compared easily to parts of the body, or maybe it represents parts of the body itself. And maybe the main Voldemort soul, or his head – whatever piece of soul is in his body – is like his head. That’s kind of what’s left. But maybe the other… maybe the diary, maybe the tiara… they represent different parts of his body, and that somehow reflects the abilities of those Horcruxes. But I really need to sit down before I could pick which one would be the eyes, which one would be the hands, but…
Kat: Well, I think too it goes to the non-literal parts, like his heart. If he had a heart, so to say…
Kat: …I would feel it would be in the locket. His emotional side, his feelings good or bad, distraught or whatever.
Noah: Yeah, I see that. It is heart-shaped, isn’t it? No, it’s…
Kat: No, I don’t think so.
Caleb: I don’t think so.
Kat: I think that would be a bit much even for…
Noah: For Voldemort.
Kat: …Voldemort. Yeah.
Noah: That’d be crazy.
Kat: Yeah. [laughs] Exactly.
Caleb: He isn’t thinking about sporting a heart locket.
Kat: [laughs] No.
Noah: [laughs] But yes, his heart is the actual locket. And that’s why maybe it affects Ron so deeply, because he’s someone who lives by his heart, easily driven by his emotions. Just speculation.
Kat: And most of the people in the chat I see are agreeing with me, so that’s great. Thanks, guys.
Caleb: [laughs] It’s great that they’re agreeing with you, or just…
Caleb: That’s what this is about, okay.
Noah: Or it’s great that they’re able to chat. I mean, come on.
Kat: Well, all of the above. All of the above, really. Let’s be honest.
Caleb: All right.
Caleb: So on that, we will… so our next comment actually is a voicemail, so we’re going to get that queued up. This is on the topic of Hermione and fire, and… yeah, so this is one of the voicemails you guys sent into the Skype, and we will play that now.
[Audio]: Hi, guys. I just finished listening to your podcast, and unfortunately I’m a little bit behind. I believe it was the episode where you talk about Hermione having a signature spell, if you will, in the fire spell that she usually does. And it got me thinking that Hermione tends to be the one who sheds the light in Harry and Ron’s lives. And whenever there’s a question, she’s the one who is able to give an answer and shed light on the issue, and I thought that was reflective of how she’s able to conjure fire and shed light in their life. So thanks for getting me thinking about it, and keep up the good work, guys. Buh-bye.
Kat: I thought that was a great, great comment. Basically, so she’s saying that Hermione’s ability to conjure fire kind of brings the overarching… let’s see… yes, exactly. But anyway, what’d you guys think about that?
Noah: No, because fire is symbolic of man’s true intelligence, and Hermione is so intelligent, so it makes sense that she produces fire.
Caleb: Someone in the chat just brought up a good point. matthewhpg said:
“Does the whole fire association with Hermione remind anyone of the association of fire with Gandalf?”
It’s a pretty good analogy.
Kat: Yeah, completely. I completely agree. That’s great.
Caleb: Oh, and Dapnik:
“Hermione is a girl on fire.”
Caleb: Hunger Games analogy. We’re just all about the connections today. I love it.
Kat: Oh, absolutely.
Noah: But fire does represent early humanity. I think of cave people, but I don’t think of Hermione as a cave person, per se.
Caleb: Well, no. [laughs] Definitely not a cave person.
Noah: Do we have any instances where she’s inventing the wheel or doing anything with wheels?
Kat: No, just the wreath of flowers.
Noah: Good comment, Tweak6. Prometheus and the fire. Yes.
Caleb: Yeah. Fire comes up a lot in tons of stuff.
Caleb: But yeah…
Noah: Good insight.
Caleb: Good comment. Okay, so the next comment is on the topic of phoenix tears, and this is from our forums and Walpurgis:
“I have always thought that phoenix tears cannot be bottled, that they would be empty of powers unless they are bestowed directly by a phoenix. The tears are just too special, too significant to be harvested and commercialized. I’d like to think Jo wouldn’t have it that way either.”
Hmm. Yeah, so we talked about the possibility of commercializing and selling phoenix tears. I actually really like this comment.
Noah: I mean, I think I might have brought that up. They heal so much. It makes sense that… shouldn’t they be sold to some degree, or is that hurting the phoenix? I mean, can you – I don’t know – get those tears out? Messing around a little bit until it cries a bit, take the tears, sell them?
Kat: I think the phoenix has to want to cry. Otherwise you’d have to beat them, and…
Kat: …what’s the point of beating a phoenix?
Noah: For the tears.
Kat: But that’s awful! [laughs]
Noah: [laughs] I’m surprised that I’m saying this now. I’m just speculating. It’s kind of like the unicorn blood. There are these magical essences that are amazing, but they’re… you can’t get them unless something awful happens, I guess.
Kat: Yeah. Yeah, no, I definitely don’t think you’d be able to buy them anywhere. Phoenixes are so rare, you know?
Noah: Now just back to the phoenix, I guess we’ll get to this… no, I guess we can talk about it because we’ve already talked about the chapters, but – I’ll bring it up again – did Fawkes want to cry because he knew the tears would heal Harry, or was Fawkes just so sad that he cried…
Noah: …and it just worked that Harry was healed?
Caleb: I’m pretty sure it’s the former.
Kat: [laughs] I would agree with that.
Noah: That Fawkes knew?
Kat: Yeah, absolutely.
Caleb: He knows his abilities. He’s a smart guy.
Noah: I mean, there’s just a huge hole in the plot with Fawkes in general because how did he know to come there anyway? But we’ll talk a little bit more about that later because there are actually…
Noah: …some people when the book came out who were saying, “You know, Jo, that was a pretty easy fix to your plot.” [laughs]
Caleb: Yeah, and…
Kat: Well, why… go ahead.
Caleb: Well, I was just going to say the next comment also kind of touches on Fawkes’ entrance. And this is from the forums from [pronounces “say-an”] Saiyan… or [pronounces “sigh-an”] SaiyanGirl, and it says…
Noah: [pronounces “say-an”] SaiyanGirl.
Caleb: SaiyanGirl. All right, thanks.
“Personally, I believe Fawkes was Dumbledore’s familiar, just like Mrs. Norris is to Filch. Mrs. Norris seems to be able to call Filch forth in an instant and vice versa, even when Harry and Ron honestly believe they can’t have been near each other. It’s like they just ‘know.’ I think it’s the same with Fawkes and Albus, especially since what happens – Harry intuitively realizes after he dies: ‘And he knew, without knowing how he knew it, that the phoenix had gone, had left Hogwarts for good; just as Dumbledore had left the school, had left the world… had left Harry.'”
Kat: Yeah, I love that.
Caleb: Aww, now I’m sad.
Kat: Wait, FlightQuest91 says there are no familiars in HP world. That’s not true because Mrs. Norris is Filch’s familiar.
Kat: So, there are definitely familiars in the HP world. And I agree with that completely. I feel like their bond is so strong…
Kat: …that it has to be something other than just pet and owner. Has to be.
Caleb: Yeah, I mean, it goes so deep with Dumbledore. His Patronus is a phoenix. It’s how he uses Fawkes to transport himself. There’s just such a deep, magical, and personal connection going on there.
Noah: Have you guys read Philip Pullman’s series The Golden Compass?
Caleb: Yeah, yeah.
Kat: Yes, absolutely. Yeah.
Noah: Dark Materials? It feels like Fawkes is Dumbledore’s daemon… demon.
Caleb: Daemon, yeah.
Kat: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, and I remember bringing that up before. It’s like a part of your soul that lives outside the person’s body.
Caleb: Oh, so people in the chat are saying that Rowling said Mrs. Norris is as close to a familiar as there is, but she is not one because it says there are not any actual familiars in the series. All right, people. We see you.
Caleb: You don’t have to get all intense. We believe you.
Noah: Ooh, Kat. They just crushed you!
Noah: Sorry. Ooh.
Kat: That’s okay. Ravenclaws like to learn from their mistakes.
Caleb: There you go.
Caleb: Gryffindors just yell.
Noah: I’m pretty sure with all the new Pottermore information, I really want to cover Pottermore on every single one of our next shows for Prisoner of Azkaban.
Kat: There’s just… sure, there’s enough information in there, but I don’t know. These last chapters were boring. [imitates snore] Snoozefest.
Noah: You felt that way?
Kat: Yeah, there just [weren’t] enough moments. That’s all.
Noah: I mean, she’s going to have to step up the content if she wants people to flock back to the site.
Kat: Yeah, it’s true. It’s true, it’s true.
Caleb: Yeah, I guess I was really disappointed that some of the chapters only had one moment in them.
Kat: Yeah, exactly. That was the major problem.
Kat: I would agree.
Caleb: But we’ll see.
Caleb: So, the next comment comes on the topic of Albus and Parseltongues, and this is from our forums and from GoldSnitch:
“You said on the podcast that Dumbledore probably couldn’t find the Chamber because he didn’t know Parseltongue. I just remembered that we definitely know that he at least undestood it, as he could understand what Morfin and Marvolo were talking about in ‘The Half-Blood Prince’. So, could it have been possible for him to learn it? The basic words at least? And how in the world did he learn to understand it anyway? It’s not like there is some dictionary…”
Caleb: And we have a follow-up comment, again from SaiyanGirl, that says:
“JK confirmed in her Bloomsbury webchat of 30 July 2007 that Albus spoke Parseltongue alongside Gobbledegook and Mermish. So, Parseltongue is definitely not an excuse for his not finding the entrance. I wrote a comment in the thread of the previous podcast about how I believe it’s actually one of Dumbledore’s flaws that caused him never to find it. Even, or maybe especially a brilliant mind like his, misses the obvious sometimes by over-complicating matters. Talking to Myrtle could have simply not crossed his mind. ‘Staying behind’ being a ‘lowly’ decision he’d never make himself is likely to play a part in this, as is the pain he still experiences due to his dead relatives and the potential responsibility he bears for Ariana. Confrontation with death in any way is not pleasant for him, and I’ve always felt that he’d intuitively avoid that particular bathroom without being consciously aware of it. “
Kat: Yeah, I love everything about that comment.
Kat: I mean, we’ve talked before about how flawed Dumbledore is, and I feel like that is… this book is a major, major oversight in Dumbledore’s life, and it’s because of his past.
Caleb: I agree. Yeah, this is very, very insightful.
Caleb: Yeah, I love this.
Noah: What if he avoided Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom because he always felt somehow ashamed or guilty that a death happened at Hogwarts while he was… not Headmaster, but while he could have helped. Maybe he knew it was Voldemort and he just avoided that bathroom.
Caleb: I don’t think he would avoid Voldemort, like he would avoid as what SaiyanGirl is talking about in her comment.
Kat: [laughs] Snapescape in the chat says:
“Hanging out with Salazar using a Time-Turner?”
I thought that was pretty funny.
[Caleb and Noah laugh]
Kat: But yeah, I think overall, Dumbledore feels pretty guilty about a lot of things that he overlooked in his lifetime.
Caleb: Yeah, he’s got a lot of baggage.
Noah: But as far as his understanding of Parseltongue, how deep do you think that goes? Is it just sort of an awareness of the language happening? I think Watchstone was saying that he or she thought that only Dumbledore kind of knew when it was happening but didn’t actually know specific words. But then again, Ron is able to duplicate whatever Harry says to open the Chamber because Harry apparently talks in his sleep. Is it possible that there’s some… maybe Dumbledore is a good reader, he read different phrase words that are close to Parseltongue or just stuff that people had heard from ancient texts because there couldn’t be many Parselmouths around.
Kat: Yeah, I feel like if anybody [were] able to understand it and not speak it, it would be Dumbledore, and he’d have a probably pretty good understanding of it. He’d probably found… I mean, there must be someone else in the world at this time that speaks the snake language, so Harry can’t be the only one.
Noah: Yeah. Or what if he just had a memory, and he goes into his Pensieve every now and then because he has a memory of someone speaking Parseltongue, and he just goes in there enough that he learns over time, kind of using it like a teaching thing?
Kat: Yeah, possible. Someone asked me, “Don’t you have to inherit it?” That’s Alex246011. Is that true? Does it have to be inherited?
Caleb: Well, at least, I guess maybe naturally. We know Harry obviously doesn’t [inherit] it, but that’s sort of because of the special case with Voldemort. But…
Caleb: Yeah, I would say it would have to be at least genetic-based.
Kat: Yeah, probably. I would agree.
Noah: I mean, it completely is because Harry knows it naturally, so it’s this weird language that you can know just by having the gene or having the right affinity.
Kat: Right. But yeah, I still think if anyone could learn it without being born with the ability it’s Dumbledore.
Caleb: Yeah, it’s mentioned several times, his proficiency with languages, so…
Kat: Right. I want to hear Mermish.
Caleb: Say it.
Kat: I’m just saying.
[Noah does a terrible Mermish imitation]
Caleb: If it’s anything like what they are in the Goblet of Fire movie, I don’t want any part of that.
Kat: Yeah. I’m sure it’s terrifying. [laughs]
Noah: [sings] “Hear our voices where they sound…”
Caleb: I really like that the goblins’ language is called Gobbledegook, though. Man, we should have asked Warwick if…
Kat: Oh, man!
Caleb: …he’s ever tried to speak Gobbledegook or…
Kat: That’s true. We never do hear that ever, though, do we?
Caleb: [laughs] No.
Kat: No. Oh, that’s a good impression of Mermish in the chat there.
Caleb: Oh, dear.
Kat: I’m not even going to attempt to…
Kat: …say that. [laughs] Okay.
Kat: Move on…
Noah: All right. [laughs]
Kat: …to a quick discussion of the book covers from last week. We got quite a few comments on this, and we want to thank again the folks over at The Last Muggle. If you guys haven’t been to their website…
Kat: …you need to check it out. They are…
Noah: It was really funny.
Caleb and Kat: … hilarious.
Caleb: So funny.
Kat: Yeah. So, thank you guys again for being awesome. Okay, so our first comment here comes from LumosNight3, and it says:
“So, you mentioned that you find it strange that the illustrators mostly used the ending of Book 2 to design the cover art because it runs the risk of giving away the ending too easily for readers. And a few of you seemed to disagree about the choice of having the flying car on the cover as that was not that interesting. So, I’m curious. If you were the illustrator, what would you put on Book 2’s cover?”
Caleb: Hmm. I mean, I’m pretty satisfied with the US edition. I think it does enough to tease and make you wonder what’s going on without giving too much away.
Caleb: That’s my opinion.
Kat: I was just… it’s funny. I knew this question obviously before the movie, and I was trying to think about it. I would like to see the Dueling Club scene on the cover because, as we talked about before, that is a defining moment in Harry’s life. That’s when he learns Expelliarmus. I feel like it talks a lot about the choices in this movie as well because he’s dueling Draco in that scene and it’s all about… a lot of this movie is about Gryffindor and Slytherin and Harry’s choices. So, I feel like maybe I would consider putting that one on the cover.
Noah: How about the bathroom stall? Where they’re brewing the potion, and maybe Moaning Myrtle just drifting in the background.
Kat: Oh, that could be good. I feel like…
Caleb: And maybe Dobby peeking around the corner.
Kat: Oh, that could be cute.
Noah: And the Basilisk peeking out of a toilet.
Kat: Oh my God, we’d all die, Noah! That’s awful.
Noah: Peeking the other way.
Kat: [laughs] Oh, okay. Eyes closed?
Kat: Cool, cool, cool. Our next comment comes from [pronounces “Hufflepuff skin”] Hufflepuffskein. This one’s for you, Noah…
Kat: Oh, thanks.
Noah: Hufflepuff skin would be weird.
[Kat and Noah laugh]
Caleb: Yeah, let’s not go there.
Kat: Well that, too. Okay, it says:
“What was the Finnish illustrator thinking? Hey Noah, talk about androgyny or feminization of Gilderoy Lockhart, eh?”
Noah: Yeah, yeah, absolutely will because… there was someone in the forums who said, “You know what? Enough, Noah. Enough. Gilderoy Lockhart is not a woman. You’re being a sexist.” They didn’t quite say that, but kind of suggesting that I was making some interesting comments just because I had seen that throughout the book. It seems that Gilderoy Lockhart is either curling his hair… he just seems to be doing something flamboyant or something effeminate, and it’s interesting. So, the Finnish author kind of took this and said, “Okay…” Gilderoy actually looked like a woman on the cover, with long hair and stuff like that. So, I think in America we have a certain degree of political correctness, but in Europe and stuff when you have characters acting effeminate… if you go all the way back to Shakespeare, you had cross-dressing actors in theater all the time. I think Lockhart is kind of that, in a way. He’s this theatrical match, and it’s great that… what’s the actor’s name?
Kat: Kenneth Branagh.
Noah: That Kenneth Branagh was actually the chosen actor because he loves Shakespeare and he played the part so, so well.
Kat: Yeah, he’s amazing for sure.
Noah: Yeah. But I kind of stand what I’ve been saying. I feel like for whatever reason, Jo needed to make Lockhart an oddly feminine character and this sort of undermines him. And that’s an interesting thing that she does, but that said, she has very powerful women in the story. So, I’m just saying, what happens when you look at Gilderoy Lockhart as not only what Jo thinks about men but also what she thinks about women. And when you think about it that way, it seems like she’s using these feminine qualities to belittle him. And that’s kind of what a lot of Victorian authors did back in the day, when there were gender stereotypes when women did this, and it was stuff that we would scoff at now. But it’s kind of weird to see her do that.
Kat: I was just thinking about the real-life Lockhart, the person that she took some of the traits from. I wonder how manly he is. I wonder if this is like a dig at his character.
Noah: Right, they’re trying to make him unmanly because in a way he is cowardly. But again, this is within a structure that’s defining unmanly as cowardly and feminine, which I don’t agree with. None of us are part of that.
Kat: No, but I mean the guy in real life. I wonder what he’s like.
Noah: The illustrator?
Kat: [laughs] No, not the illustrator. The guy that she modeled Lockhart after.
Noah: Oh, right. The actual guy.
Noah: Yeah. Someday she’s got to come out with that.
Kat: I hope so. We should get him on the show.
Caleb: I really agree with hillywooder09 in the chat who says he or she likes to think of him as metrosexual, which I would pretty much agree with.
Caleb: I don’t think he has to be effeminate. I think metrosexual is a pretty good tag.
Kat: So he was ahead of his time because that was in the ’90s, so…
Kat: Ahead of his time. Cool.
Noah: That was just the…
Caleb: I mean, let’s be real. As annoying and whatever he is in the movie, he’s looking pretty stylish and good. Let’s be real.
Kat: [laughs] It’s true. It’s true.
Caleb: I would be sporting some of those robes if I was in the wizarding world. I would want to look that good.
Kat: I could see that.
Noah: Laura Reilly in the chat, also from MuggleNet, says:
“Well, I think it’s interesting/bad that being feminine is associated with less of an admirable character.”
And yes, Laura, that’s pretty much what I’m trying to say. I think it’s weird and, Jo, you shouldn’t be doing that if you’re doing that, but you might not be doing that.
Noah: I’ll have to ask you to come on the show. [laughs]
Kat: Right, fingers crossed.
Kat: All right, and our next comment comes from Mrs.O822. She says:
“[I] loved seeing all the covers. I think my favorite is the Bloomsbury adult [edition]. I like how they don’t give too much away. Also, I like the non-illustrated cover. That probably has something to do with the fact that I was an adult when I first read this series, so I don’t always like being reminded that it was originally intended for children!”
I think we can all agree with that on some level. [laughs]
Caleb: Yeah. Definitely.
Kat: And the fact that, sure, they’re – quote, unquote – “children’s books,” but they’re not. I mean, you guys saw that basilisk in the movie.
Kat: That thing is scary! That’s scary. I’d be terrified if I was ten years old watching that movie.
Caleb: Kind of going off from that point, I think that’s one way… the different covers appealing to different audiences like that proves how applicable this series is to so many different audiences, that so many different types of covers can be made and be appreciated by different age groups.
Caleb: Even though it was intended for a younger audience, it applies and appeals to so many different people.
Caleb: And that’s kind of shown through all the covers that we see.
Noah: What is everyone’s favorite cover? Well, we already said this, didn’t we?
Caleb: I always like the Ukrainian one because it just has so much going on.
Kat: [laughs] Totally crazy. Let me look at this link again. I don’t remember which one was my favorite. I’m going to put it in the chat for everyone to see.
Noah: Yeah, my favorite was definitely the American cover just because, I guess, that was my cover. So, as I said on the episode, Chamber of Secrets really was the first Harry Potter book I did read, in fifth grade, kind of late in the game. And actually, for my book report on it, I used the cover and I just kind of outlined it in my art class.
Caleb: It’s censored it, Kat. [laughs]
Noah: Kat, what did you say to them?
Kat: I just put a link in there, guys! I’m supposed to be able to put links in, what’s up with that?
Caleb: Maybe you try a bit.ly link?
Kat: Maybe. Here, I’m going to paste it in with…
Noah: Language, Kat.
Kat: Hey guys, come on.
[Caleb and Noah laugh]
Kat: I’m going to paste it in with a bunch of spaces for you.
Caleb: Yeah, that works.
Kat: Just take out all the spaces, guys, okay? There’s going to be a lot. There, give that a try. I know, I’m sorry. I wasn’t swearing at you, I promise.
Caleb: Whoa, it still censored some of it.
Kat: For reals?
Caleb: Yeah, for real.
Kat: All right, guys. Just Google “The Last Muggle Chamber of Secrets Covers” and it will come up, I promise.
Noah: I think there was enough of a time delay that some people thought you had said something terrible to them.
[Caleb and Kat laugh]
Noah: Briefly. [laughs]
Kat: I definitely did not say something terrible. Sorry, sorry guys. Sorry, sorry.
Noah: “Kat would never swear at us, she’s an angel!”
Caleb: Oh, gosh. [laughs]
Kat: I’m an angel? Aww, thank you hillywooder09. So nice.
Caleb: Man, I’ve already burst that bubble for myself on this show, I think.
Kat: That’s all right, I think we’ve all been bleeped a few times. It’s cool. Cool, so yeah, the book covers are great. We were really excited to talk about those.
Noah: And now is it time for the Question of the Week?
Kat: It is, Noah!
Noah: All right, so let me introduce that. So, last week we were thinking about just the entire book, in general, I asked a pretty big question: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, as you all know, is much about Harry’s going back and forth with the Sorting Hat over his Sorting into Gryffindor instead of Slytherin. As we know, this idea is about nature versus choice, maybe a nature versus nurture argument as well. As far as Sorting goes, it’s one of the biggest questions of the series. Our question is this: Why now? What is the rhetorical impact of Jo putting this question so heavily in the second book? And what is our final takeaway or resolution to this problem given Dumbledore’s words at the end? First comment, from Walpurgis:
“Harry hasn’t a clue about what he’ll be facing, but Dumbledore (and Jo) know that growing up is hard enough without having a firm foundation of solid principles such as this one. He will be pulled in every direction, provided with every form of distraction to keep him from destroying the Dark Lord. How is he to withstand and counter all of those influences without the wisdom that his fate is not pre-determined, and no other person can decide for him what that fate will ultimately be?”
I read that and it read beautifully, but I’m not sure if it was an answer to my question.
Kat: Well, why isn’t it?
Noah: Well, I mean… don’t put me on the spot.
Noah: Let me look it over again. [laughs]
Kat: Well, this is a live show, Noah. It’s all about being on the spot.
Noah: It’s a live show? Oh wow, look at all those people. Okay.
Noah: Well, it seems to me that… one second. Reading, reading, reading. Did you guys have any thoughts hearing that comment? I’m just going to have to cut back to it. [laughs] This is from Puff N Proud:
“First, it can reaffirm Harry’s moral compass of choice for good and further provide roots for JKR’s message of the power of love. The choice between Gryffindor and Slytherin is not a choice between good and evil, it really is a choice of attributes (simply summarized) as bravery, often to the point of recklessness and cunning, often used for self-promotion or preservation. Thus, Harry’s choice of Gryffindor and its affirmation so strongly in this book is a way of alluding to Harry’s upcoming personal risks as he confronts Voldemort, many of which are done at the point of recklessness. Finally, I think that having the emphasis on this question here also plants a seed that despite Harry’s level of abilities, he has a chance of beating Voldemort in the end. How often do we hear how powerful Voldemort is and that Dumbledore is the only wizard he feared? Even with Harry’s uncanny skill for Defense of the Dark Arts, he is no stellar student. Thus, it is his choice to accept the role of the Chosen One that gives him the chance to overcome Voldemort in the end.”
Okay, so Puff N Proud’s comment is that this question that Harry racks his brain in his mind in the beginning of the book is foreshadowing the big question of the series, does he have the personal power to defeat Voldemort? And again, it’s also quite like the hero’s journey. The hero must confront his own… break from his own identity first so that he can go forth and save the world and the new world.
Noah: Now, back to Walpurgis. I think Walpurgis was saying pretty much the same thing. It has to happen at the beginning of the book. All right, so he was talking about the idea that fate is not predetermined.
Kat: Right. Yeah, Harry has to decide right here and now basically that this is what he is going to do, that this is the road that his journey is going to take.
Kat: If he didn’t choose now, I think once he knew more information the choice would have been harder. He had to know… he had to choose now.
Noah: Yeah. Good, he got it away when he was twelve, you know?
Caleb: For the second time.
Noah: Okay, and our next comment…
Caleb: Well, I guess third time including being one year old.
Kat: I’m not sure that one counts.
Noah: Our next comment is from Ali Wood:
“I also think it’s a good connection to Harry’s parents, especially his father. James was the epitome of a Gryffindor, and Harry finds James inside of himself in PoA. It could also be linked to the parallel book theory, and HBP. In CoS, Harry determines that his choice of house is what seperates him from Voldemort. In HBP, he determines that his choice in regards to the prophecy, his life, and his destiny are different from Voldemort’s. Harry will have to make many difficult choices in the future. He will be pressured and pulled towards the dark inside of him. And yet, he chooses the light, the hard but right path, and through those choices he will choose what he becomes.”
Okay, so right, Ali Wood. The connection between Chamber of Secrets and Half-Blood Prince begins here wrestling with his own personal identity. And yeah, interesting that also in Half-Blood Prince there are all these connections to Tom Riddle and Harry, or the idea that they are similar. Doesn’t Slughorn say, “You remind me of him,” when Harry goes to ask him if he can tell him anything about Horcruxes? But yeah, good comment there. Hmm. Anything else about that comment, guys?
Caleb: Well, someone in the chat said… this is WatchS or watches, I don’t know, but it says:
“He has to be molded early on because he can’t afford to stumble like his father, cleaning up his act so late in his life.”
Kat: That’s very, very true. Yeah.
Caleb: James barely got Lily, so…
Kat: Yeah, barely. Yeah, Harry doesn’t have, I guess, the room in his life to be complacent or a procrastinator. He kind of just has to buck it up and do it.
Noah: Well yeah, and I think… bringing up James, I think in ways Harry is James perfected in a way because they are both pretty crafty and they both are troublemakers. But Harry has got Lily inside of him and that makes him kind of a better person we ultimately find.
Kat: I think he’s a lot stronger than his father in a lot of ways. A lot of ways.
Kat: For sure.
Noah: And last comment from Hufflepuffskein:
“If you think further about the circular theory/ring composition with Book 2 and 6, in CoS Harry experiences the power of his choices and in HBP Harry makes an immensely powerful choice … at the very end, he tells Ron and Hermione that he will not return to Hogwarts but will hunt the Horcruxes. He realizes the weight of choices … he chooses to end his relationship with Ginny (for now). He chooses to stand by Dumbledore when faced by Scrimgeour, the new Minister of Magic. At the end of Book 2, Harry realizes the power of choice and at the end of Book 6, Harry makes several powerful choices.”
Kat: Huh, that’s true. Okay, flipping it back on itself. That’s very true.
Noah: And that Book 6 is all about choices, it would… I didn’t really think about that, but it’s very… in a way, it’s very natural for him.
Noah: So, was it nature that led him to make this choice or was it his learning that did it?
Noah: Of good and evil.
Kat: The choice that he made in this book?
Noah: Maybe in general.
Kat: Oh, that’s tough.
Noah: We’ll never know. It’s probably a combination of both and I’m just… [laughs] maybe it’s too tough.
Caleb: Yeah. It’s pretty complex, so it’s a little bit of both.
Kat: Circular theory just blows my mind ninety-eight percent of the time. It’s unbelievable.
Noah: I write my books in a square theory.
Kat: [laughs]. Oh, you do?
Noah: Every single book is the same book.
Noah: It just has a different cover. [laughs]
Kat: Oh, cool!
Kat: Did you get the Finnish artist to make one for you?
Noah: Whoa, Kat. Yeah. Well…
Caleb: Whenever I write a book, I need to find the Ukrainian author – or the Ukrainian illustrator – to…
Caleb: …do my cover.
Kat: That would be brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. [laughs]
Caleb: A splash of everything.
Kat: That’s right.
Caleb: Well, some really great comments and good question, Noah. I’m sure that’s something we’re going to talk about a lot as we keep going through the books. Gryffindor v Slytherin for Harry.
Kat: Absolutely. Choices.
Kat: It’s the choices.
Noah: [as Dumbledore] “It is our choices, Harry.”
Caleb: So, hopefully everybody had a really awesome Christmas break. I just had mine a couple of days ago and it’s really awesome to be home with family. How about you guys?
Noah: I’m liking it. As I said, I’m on vacation right now in Florida, reading some books.
Kat: What are you reading?
Noah: Right now I’m actually reading The Golden Compass, as I mentioned before. It’s awesome. I can’t believe I didn’t get to it before.
Kat: Oh, cool.
Caleb: Yeah. I’m a huge fan of His Dark Materials. I need to go back and reread them, but I’m actually using a lot of the holiday break to go back to books that I’ve put on my list that I haven’t gotten to yet. Super easy way to do that is I’ve been using the audiobook selection over at Audible because Audible is definitely the best place for all your audio downloading needs. Plus, Audible has a really great special offer for all of our US and Canadian listeners. They can visit our unique link created specifically for them and get a free audio download today. All they have to do is go to AudiblePodcast.com/Open.
Kat: Yeah, and you guys should definitely check out Audible’s Listener Program. Basically you purchase book credits at a super low monthly rate and you can use them any time for any product that Audible offers.
Caleb: Yup. So, all of you guys out there and everyone in the chat should definitely go over to Audible and start downloading directly to your computer for easily listening on burned CDs, mp3 players, your iPad, iPhones, or Androids. Again, the website made just for you is Audible – A-U-D-I-B-L-E – Podcast – P-O-D-C-A-S-T – dot com slash Open – O-P-E-N. So, visit AudiblePodcast.com/Open for your free download today.
Kat: We’re going to jump right into our main section for this week and it is an overall book analysis. So, we’re going to wrap up Chamber of Secrets, we’re going to talk about the movie, and basically get ready to start Prisoner, guys! How excited are we?
Noah: Oh, we’re pretty excited.
Kat: Yeah, we’re pretty excited.
Noah: I can’t speak for everyone in the comments, but I’m pretty sure they’re excited too. Caleb, while I start, do you want to pop out and pop back in on Skype? Or…
Caleb: I mean, hopefully I’m better now. Am I better now?
Kat: Yeah, you sound better to me. Does Caleb sound better to everyone?
Noah: He does. You must have had something in your throat or something.
Caleb: [clears throat] Yeah, it was a Nargle I think.
Noah: It was Nargles. That makes sense. [laughs] All right, so overall book analysis of Chamber of Secrets. Well, let me just throw some stats at you guys off of Wikipedia page. The book was published in the United Kingdom on July 2nd, 1998. Oh, wait. Can everybody hear me? Okay. Let me just start over real quick. The book was published in the United Kingdom on July 2nd, 1998 by Bloomsbury and in the United States on June 2nd, 1999 by Scholastic Inc. It immediately took first place in the UK. It got to the… on the UK bestseller lists, displacing popular authors such as John Grisham, Tom Clancy, and even Terry Pratchett, and it made Rowling the first author to win the British Book Awards Children’s Book of the Year for two years in succession, she took. And in June 1999, it went straight to the top of three of the US bestseller lists including The New York Times. That’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets as we are talking about. It got several different reviews from pretty great writers of the time. Thomas Wagner regarded the plot as very similar to that of the first book, based on searching for a secret hidden under the school, which is true because in the first book you had the trapdoor and the Chamber of Secrets is just another chamber. However, he enjoyed the parody of celebrities and their fans that centers round Gilderoy Lockhart, and approved of the book’s handling of racism, which is true. I mean, racism really popped up in this book as a huge theme as far as what kind of blood you are in the magical community. And then of course, Gilderoy and everyone flocking around him, and that really captured the culture of the nineties, when this book was written, when pop culture was pretty much everything during that time. Wouldn’t you guys say?
Kat: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.
Noah: And there was another reviewer. I actually quite like this. Tammy Nezol found the book more disturbing than its predecessor, particularly in the rash behavior of Harry and his friends after Harry withheld information from Dumbledore, and in the human-like behavior of the Mandrakes used to make a potion that cures petrification. He thought that was terrible. Nevertheless, she considered… oh, not he. She. Nevertheless, she considered the second story as enjoyable as the first. Oh. [laughs]
Noah: So, they knew about the Mandrakes even then.
Noah: Someone got there first. But it is really weird when you think about it, when people are reading this book, because you had the Mandrakes moving about kind of like babies and then just thoughtlessly slaughtered.
Caleb: Yeah. So, someone beat you to the MLF, Noah.
Noah: I know. Maybe I should contact her. Or maybe… no, maybe the Mandrake from the Twitter account should contact her. Hmm. But yeah, just interesting that someone had already picked up on that before we did. Never really heard that before. Okay. So, that was one review and here’s another one written by [pronounces “Greem Davis”] Graeme Davis or [pronounces “Grame Davis”] Graeme Davis after the book – all seven books – had been published, looking back on Chamber of Secrets. She thought it was one of the weakest of the series and agreed that the plot structure was much the same as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. He described Fawkes’s appearance to arm Harry and then to heal him as a… how do you pronounce this? [pronounces “doos ex machina”] Deus ex machina? Yeah. Deus ex machina, right. He said that the book does not explain how Fawkes knew where to find Harry and Fawkes’s timing had to be very precise, as arriving earlier would probably have prevented the battle with the Basilisk, while arriving later would have been fatal to Harry and Ginny. Deus ex machina, that’s the appropriate line. And wouldn’t you guys say that’s probably true? I mean, Fawkes running in there somehow knowing that Harry was in trouble. That was very perfect. Probably the most perfectly timed thing in the series, huh?
Caleb: Right. Yeah, I’d say so. I mean, I think we’ve kind of hinted at that before…
Kat: Okay, guys. So, we have Alex on the line from Atlanta. Alex, are you there?
Caleb: …but yeah, Fawkes is definitely always there to save the day in this case.
Kat: Okay, what’s your question?
Caller: I’m right here. I was just about to say that the circular book theory that you were talking about earlier – I felt that Chamber of Secrets, it also connects to some other books. I personally connect it to Deathly Hallows sometimes because Chamber of Secrets begins the theory of Horcruxes and Deathly Hallows kind of brings that full circle.
Noah: So, just rephrase that again real quick.
Caller: I feel like Chamber of Secrets and Deathly Hallows are sort of connected as well because they both… it’s the beginning and end of the…
Kat: Because of the Horcruxes, you’re saying?
Kat: Right. No, that’s definitely true.
Caleb: Yeah, the first book is kind of removed from the Horcrux discussion. It kind of kicks off here.
Kat: It is, that’s true. Even though… I mean, isn’t that the first time that Dumbledore says something to Harry about the powers being transferred? No, that’s this book, right?
Kat: Because they don’t… they almost talk about his scar in the first book, right? Almost.
Kat: Almost. Right. That’s true.
Noah: While there are connections, though, I would say that the beginning and the ending and the fact that Voldemort and Harry are directly facing each other is more parallel, “1” to “7” for me. But maybe not a circle. Maybe we should think of different shapes…
Noah: …that could accommodate Book 2 and 7.
Kat: Three dimensional cones, triangles…
Noah: Whoa. What if Alohomora! comes up with some theory that isn’t a circle, but it’s a cone because our theories are more dimensional.
Noah: Because they’re… [laughs] it’s more… it allows for a subjective lens on it. I don’t know. I’m just rambling. [laughs]
Kat: Right, exactly. And hi, who do we have on the phone now?
Caller: Hi, this is Charice from Washington.
Kat: Hi, Charice. You have a question for us?
Caleb: Washington State or Washington DC?
Caleb: Oh, okay. You’re on the other side of the country from me then.
Kat: Welcome. You have a question for us?
Caller: I do. I have been thinking about how Hermione’s parents can get into Diagon Alley. I’m wondering, because in the first book when Hagrid took Harry to the Leaky Cauldron, Harry made an announce… well, he kind of observed that Muggles just pass it by, that they don’t notice it. So, how are Mr. and Mrs. Granger able to get into Diagon Alley?
Kat: I would…
Caleb: I always imagined that the Weasleys helping them in, I guess, or Hermione herself.
Kat: Yeah, I would say Hermione because since she’s a witch, she can see the entrance.
Caleb: Yeah. But it is probably very rare that Muggle parents… I guess really that would be the only case, where if they have a Muggle-born child. And maybe even then, it’s still pretty rare for them to show up.
Kat: Yeah, I would say so. I would agree with that for sure.
Caleb: [laughs] Someone in the live chat said:
“Maybe they make them drink a special potion.”
Caleb: To get them through the portal. That would be funny.
Kat: cassandra1447 says:
“Maybe if you’re touching the wizard you can pass through the entrance?”
Kat: Possible. Who knows. I wonder if there have been cases of Muggles in Diagon Alley before. There must have been.
Caleb: Like sneaking in or accidentally falling in or something. But I guess they wouldn’t know how to tap the bricks.
Kat: Can Squibs get into Diagon Alley, is the question.
Caleb: Yeah, I think so. I would say so.
Kat: True, true. All right, Noah. Continue with your book analysis, please.
Noah: My pleasure. Let me just find it. I have misplaced my book analysis. Okay…
[Kat sings the “Jeopardy” countdown]
Noah: A little known fact about the book is that JK Rowling actually… it was difficult for her to finish this book because she wasn’t sure it would have as much success as the first. She actually… she wrote her first manuscript and then took it back and took another I believe either six weeks or six months to rewrite the second version. And in the very first version, there was an entire song from Nearly Headless Nick, but it was cut out. Did you guys know that?
Caleb: I did not.
Kat: I did not know that! Where did you hear that? Or where did you read that? Where did you find that bit of wonderful info?
Noah: I read that on Wikipedia. And it went further to say that that song was actually published on JK Rowling’s website, the old site, if you guys remember, if you click on the link I have here. I’m actually going to sing the song for you, which was apparently taken from the website.
Kat: Yes, let’s hear it.
Caleb: Everyone, prepare yourself for Noah’s singing.
Kat: Are you going to do it in a voice? Come on, it needs to be in a voice, buddy.
Noah: [in a dramatic voice]
“It was a mistake any wizard could make
Who was tired and caught on the hop.
One piffling error, and then, to my terror,
I found myself facing the chop.
Alas for the eve when I met Lady Grieve
A-strolling the park in the dusk!
She was of the belief I could straighten her teeth
Next moment she’d sprouted a tusk.
I cried through the night that I’d soon put her right
But the process of justice was lax;
They’d brought out the block, though they’d mislaid the rock
Where they usually sharpened the axe.
Next morning at dawn, with a face most forlorn,
The priest said to try not to cry,
‘You can come just like that, no, you won’t need a hat,’
And I knew that my end must be nigh.
The man in the mask who would have the sad task
Of cleaving my head from my neck
Said, ‘Nick, if you please, will you get to your knees,’
And I turned to a gibbering wreck.
‘This may sting a bit,’ said the cack-handed twit
As he swung the axe up in the air,
But oh the blunt blade! No difference it made,
My head was still definitely there.
The axeman he hacked and he whacked and he thwacked,
‘Won’t be too long,’ he assured me,
But quick it was not, and the bone-headed clot
Took forty-five goes ’til he floored me.
And so I was dead, but my faithful old head
It never saw fit to desert me,
It still lingers on, that’s the end of my song,
And now, please applaud, or you’ll hurt me.”
Kat: [applauds] Yay! Everyone applaud.
Noah: And that’s the song. That song was actually in the book, but then it was taken away by the editors because they thought it was, I think, too gruesome probably. Or rather, unnecessary. But I actually liked it. I think Jo has a nice cadence in her writing and especially in the poetry, kind of like a… almost like Lord of the Rings.
Noah: If you think back to that series, you’d have the occasional songs from JRR Tolkien. Not as much in Harry Potter, possibly because someone might suggest the connection. But, yeah. Oh, thanks everybody in the chat for my singing. I mean, I tried my best. I do enjoy making voices. Oh, wow. That’s really nice. I don’t know about beautiful. I thought I was pretty good.
Noah: All right, well… [laughs]
Kat: I just want to say how amazing that would have been in the film. Could you imagine John Cleese singing that? That would have been so awesome. I love that guy.
Noah: Even as a deleted scene, I would have liked to see it. But…
Kat: Yeah, it’s true.
Noah: …what can you do?
Kat: It’s true, true, true.
Noah: There were some other things cut from the book as well, including a whole story arc about Dean Thomas and his history. I think Dean Thomas was possibly going to become a major character in the series, but Jo just decided at this point that Neville Longbottom’s own journey was more important to the central plot. That’s the exact quote. So, do you guys think it’s possible that Dean… for some reason, for Jo it seems that Dean and Neville are inextricably linked. Do you think it’s possible that maybe Dean’s parents defied Voldemort? Or Dean’s story was going to mean something more?
Kat: Well, we know that Dean was going to have a bigger part, regardless what it is yet. I don’t think we quite know. I don’t think she has quite told us. I definitely don’t think that he was the third could-have-been. I definitely think it was Harry and Neville. But I know that Dean was supposed to have a bigger part. But who knows what?
Caleb: Yeah. Hopefully we get it someday.
Noah: I mean, I’m sure she’ll bring it up on Pottermore. It’ll get big. I just don’t know which book. Hmm. And…
Kat: Well, I would hope that it would be… oh, it wouldn’t be this book, but that would make the most sense.
Noah: I would have thought Chamber, but…
Kat: Yeah, me too.
Noah: …apparently not. Maybe she’s hiding something and it’s going to come in a big way.
Kat: Yeah, I doubt it. Encyclopedia, we need you!
Caleb: [laughs] Yeah.
Noah: I don’t think we’re getting an encyclopedia. I just don’t know.
Kat: She listens to the show. All we have to do is beg and plead.
[Caleb and Noah laugh]
Caleb: And she will hear our cry.
Kat: You know what we do? And this is a shout out to the other podcast on MuggleNet. We should get Micah on here, make the request, and then it will happen.
Caleb: Oh. So, Micah has the magic?
Kat: Just saying. Yup, he does. He has the magic.
Caleb: We don’t need to pump him up any more than he already is, so…
Kat: That’s true.
Noah: [laughs] All right…
Caleb: I hope he’s listening now.
Kat: Yeah, that’s right. What’s up, Micah?
Noah: So, just back to book overview. We’ve talked so much about Book 2 and Book 6 connections, but can you guys name them all off the top of your head? Different things?
Caleb: Name all the what?
Noah: Just different, weird, uncanny connections between the books.
Kat: Between “2” and “6”? You know how many there are, dude?
Noah: I don’t. That’s why I’m asking you. [laughs]
Kat: I think that there are far too many to name.
Noah: This is… all right, so this is going to be our game for everybody in the comments. If you’re listening right now, we want you to name some comment, some connection, between the two stories of Chamber of Secrets and Half-Blood Prince. Put them in the chat and we’re going to call them out.
Kat: All right, yeah. Let’s hear them. FlightQuest…
Noah: I’m going to call them all out. It’s going to be like Jeopardy. You just keep going.
Kat: If only we had the Jeopardy song.
Noah: Vanishing Cabinet. Running into Draco in Diagon Alley…
[Caleb and Kat sing the “Jeopardy” countdown]
Noah: The diary and Snape’s book. Good, keep going. Books…
Caleb: I cannot go that high.
Noah: Hand of Glory, that’s true. You have the Vanishing Cabinet. Harry goes to the Burrow. Horcruxes. The opal necklace. Dumbledore leaves the school in the book, the second time…
Kat: We make a really good orchestra. Very good.
Caleb: There we go.
Noah: [sings the “Jeopardy” countdown] Caleb, you read. [continues singing]
Caleb: Noah, we already did this.
Noah: Keep going.
[Kat and Noah sing the “Jeopardy” countdown]
Noah: An -empra spell on Draco, that’s true. The necklace. Ginny-Harry romance begins.
Kat: Isn’t there more to the song than just that part?
Caleb: I don’t think so.
Noah: I don’t think so.
Noah: It’s a very short song. All right, but yeah. All right. So, thanks everybody for doing that with us. That was really fun.
Kat: That was a good time. [laughs]
Noah: And spontaneous.
Noah: So, here’s a comment from our main site, just again within the context of our grand book overview. Someone has titled this comment “Hulk Harry.”
Kat: No, that’s the user’s name.
Noah: Oh, okay.
Caleb: Oh, God.
Noah: The username is Hulk Harry.
Noah: Sorry, it’s been a long morning.
“Thank God that’s over. I made a comment at the beginning of CoS that it was my least favorite book and that I hoped this podcast would help me find some love for it. It had the opposite effect. The plot is both convoluted and stupid. How is it that a second year student could work out what was happening and Dumbledore couldn’t? What the hell was Dumbledore doing all year? He clearly knew it was Riddle all along. The only redeeming feature of this book is what it sets up later (Horcruxes and Expelliarmus) and the expanding of the world. Still love the podcast, guys. Can’t wait to start PoA.”
[Caleb and Kat laugh]
Kat: I mean, it’s funny…
Noah: So, Hulk Harry had a lot of attitude.
Caleb: I can understand that. I mean, I love Prisoner of Azkaban, so I’m also pumped to start it off. But…
Kat: [laughs] Right.
Caleb: I don’t know. I think going back through it… Chamber of Secrets has always been my least favorite book in the series. But going back through it actually made me enjoy it a little bit more, actually.
Kat: Yeah. I mean, I feel like on some level, we all agree with the foundation of this comment, which is, how did Dumbledore not figure this out?
Kat: I feel like that’s a really big hole in this book and while I definitely do not hate the book as much as Hulk Harry does, I agree. It’s my least favorite in the series as well.
Caleb: Hulk Harry smash!
Noah: I didn’t really read like Hulk Harry. I… it was more like Hulk Harry’s angry sister or something.
Kat: Oh. [laughs] Although, I do enjoy everything that it does set up. And I love… I feel like this book… “2” and “6” have the most connections in the circular theory, for sure. Out of all of them.
Caleb: Yeah, I’d agree.
Kat: So… and I love circular theory.
Noah: But do you think the… as much as “2” and “6” are connected, there was… we read that one comment or reviewer that originally said that the first book and the second book were actually very similar, the idea of something below the castle. Do you guys see Book 1 and 2 having very similar plots? Or maybe too much so? Especially with the mystery stuff.
Kat: A little bit. See, the only thing is I feel like… and this is bad, but what happens in Book 1 that is essential to the rest of the story?
Kat: Honestly. If Jo took the first couple of chapters of Book 1 and put it in Book 2, what else would be missing from Book 1 that we need for the rest of the story?
Noah: You mean, what does Book 1 have that the others don’t have?
Kat: No, if Book 1 didn’t exist, what would we be missing? Is there anything essential for the story?
Caleb: Well, we would not get Fluffy and that’s really important to me, so…
Kat: [laughs] Yeah, but there’s nothing major that applies to the other books is in Book 1.
Kat: With the exception of the set up, the first two chapters or whatever.
Noah: Well, what do you all think, everybody listening?
Kat: Everyone is saying that Book 1 is set up, the first year…
Caleb: I think it’s important, I guess, to show… well, we get this in Book 2, but it also shows how Voldemort can use… will do almost anything to stay alive, with the whole unicorn blood line. I think that’s really important.
Kat: Yeah, but is it? It doesn’t… it’s never, ever brought up again in the rest of the books.
Caleb: Yeah, but in every book, he’s trying to do something else, so… well, almost every book. He’s trying to do something else to regain his form or whatever.
Noah: It is true, the idea that Voldemort is going for a Philosopher’s Stone in the first book, it kind of makes Philosopher’s Stone book its own world, in a way. And it’s like Book 2 is a set up for the series, where Book 1 can kind of stand on its own as a novel. You know what I mean?
Caleb: Oh, yeah. Laura just brought up that… we get the whole mother’s love part at the end.
Kat: Right, that’s true.
Caleb: That’s pretty important. I guess that’s kind of important.
Kat: [laughs] Kind of.
Noah: I feel like Book 1 is kind of just a… I don’t know if microcosm is the right word, but… of the entire series. Maybe if we could break it up into phases, you could almost split it into books itself, and it would mirror Harry’s progression throughout the entire series because he’s stopping Voldemort, he’s working with his friends, he has this crucial decision, and then he figures it out.
Noah: So Book 2 is almost like another beginning, in a way.
Kat: Right, right.
Caleb: That’s a good… I think that’s sort of brought up… I don’t think we’re to the next voicemail yet, but the next voicemail kind of raises that point.
Caleb: How there’s different kind of episodes going on. I don’t know if we’re to the voicemail yet. Are we to the voicemail yet? No?
Kat: No, not yet. Almost.
Caleb: Okay, my bad.
Kat: But yeah, back to your original question, Noah, yes, I do think that they are incredibly similar, and they probably could have been combined in some way to make one slightly larger book or whatever. But I think with Jo’s genius…
Noah: She could…
Kat: …that she knew what she was doing all along, and regardless of her hesitancy and worry about the second book being successful, it still worked out, didn’t it?
Noah: Yeah. I’m thinking, though, without the first book… if she took the story of the second book and just put it in the first book and there were just six books, you could get away without the first story. She could have just started with Voldemort with the student and the diary, you know what I mean?
Kat: Sure. See, but hold on. Laura, staff member Laura here, just came up with another one. Harry catches the Snitch in his mouth in the first book, so…
Caleb: Oh, yeah.
Kat: Yeah, I think we’re all over… well…
Caleb: Which ties to the Resurrection Stone, yeah.
Noah: The Snitch! Yes, the Snitch! Everyone is saying that.
Kat: Okay, I just like to play the devil’s advocate.
Kat: Apparently we definitely need Book 1. Cool.
[Caleb and Kat laugh]
Noah: I disagree. I think we could get rid of… he can catch the Snitch in his mouth in the second book, right?
Caleb: Stop, Noah. I want more books, not less.
Kat: That’s true.
Noah: [laughs] Okay.
Kat: But we would have… if she had gotten rid of Book 1, hopefully we would have gotten another, way awesome book. I don’t know. Either way.
Noah: Or a really thick Book 2.
Kat: What’s next?
Noah: From Advance Owl Purr…
Noah: I wonder what that sounds like.
Caleb: [laughs] Oh, how was that again?
Kat: [laughs] Wait, did… so many people were laughing at the slide I put up during the movie that said “Hermione Purranger.”
[Caleb and Noah laugh]
Kat: That’s all. Anyway, sorry.
Noah: You’re very funny, Kat.
Kat: I don’t make a very good cat sound, despite my name. Sorry about that.
Noah: This is from Advance Owl Purr:
“Just a general thought about the book, how did Slytherin make a secret chamber in the sink if they didn’t have sinks back then? It was probably originally made as somewhere else (like through a chamber pot or something).”
“I’m interested to hear what Noah has to say on this.”
Kat: Yeah… [clears throat] excuse me. I put in a note here from the Lexicon. This has been answered on Pottermore, by the way, but this is just a bit from our friend Steve Vander Ark. It says:
“The most reasonable explanation for this phenomenon is that Hogwarts castle adjusts over the years to changes in technology and architecture. After all, castles of the large stone variety weren’t being built anywhere in Britain a thousand years ago, meaning that Hogwarts probably started life looking quite a bit different than it looks now. So the Chamber, in the tradition of the staircases which lead somewhere different on different days and the disappearing chamber pot room, probably adjusted its entrance to fit the form of the magical castle to which it connects.”
Noah: Either that, or Slytherin just wanted to hang out in the girls bathroom.
Noah: That’s just wrong.
Kat: Maybe, but… so in the meantime, the information has come out on Pottermore. I can’t remember the exact words, but basically it’s what Steve just said. [laughs]
Caleb: Speaking of Steve, I’m pretty sure his birthday was yesterday because it popped up on my Skype.
Kat: Oh, it did! Yeah.
Caleb: So, Happy Birthday.
Kat: Happy Birthday.
Noah: Happy Birthday, Steve Vander Ark!
Kat: Woo-hoo! Does anyone have that Pottermore information handy?
Caleb: I don’t. Not in front of me.
Kat: Oh. Let me find it. I’ll find it.
Kat: Can someone give us a call? We’d love to talk to somebody about how they feel about the chamber pot room. Someone who hasn’t called us already, please.
Noah: We’re waiting. We’re accepting your calls. Every minute of every day. Every hour.
Caleb: [imitating bass sounds] Untz, untz, untz…
Kat: Come on, Michael! You don’t want to talk about chamber pots? What’s up, buddy?
[Kat and Noah laugh]
Caleb: I don’t want to talk about that at all.
Noah: [laughs] I’ll talk about my chamber pot.
Kat: [laughs] No one wants to hear about your chamber pot, Noah.
Noah: [laughs] Aww! Maybe next show.
Kat: Yeah, maybe.
Noah: But that pretty much ends the overall book analysis that I have, Kat.
Kat: Okay. I’m just trying to find that Pottermore information, but I don’t know what chapter it’s in. Guys? Someone needs to help me out.
Kat: No? All right, I guess it doesn’t matter. Let’s just say that…
Caleb: We can come back to it.
Kat: Right, exactly.
Noah: That’s true.
Kat: Chapter 17! Thank you, matthewhpg-1.
Noah: You’re MuggleNet’s hero of the day.
Kat: Yay! Hero of the day.
Noah: We can do that.
Kat: All right, let’s see. Chapter 17. It’s opening very slowly.
Noah: Kind of like the Chamber of Secrets.
Kat: But I can’t speak Parseltongue, unfortunately.
Caleb: I can. [imitates Parseltongue]
[Noah also imitates Parseltongue]
Kat: That’s pretty good. That’s just as good as your Nazgûl.
Caleb: Yeah, well, I can make some pretty baller noises.
Caleb: I must say so, myself.
Noah: Caleb, what do you think about the old argument that the Wraiths and Death Eaters are kind of similar?
Caleb: Hmm, I don’t think they’re similar at all.
Noah: All right. I’ll tell my friend who likes Lord of the Rings.
Caleb: I mean, they obviously have very… they have some similar traits. But the whole point of the Ringwraiths… [laughs]
Noah: Oh, Caleb. They’re calling you out.
Caleb: Sorry, no. The Ringwraiths are supposed to be men who cannot return to any sort of mortal state ever again. They’re cursed forever. Death Eaters are just bad humans.
Noah: They’re bad humans?
Caleb: Yeah. Well, bad wizards, but…
Noah: Did you know that Dementors most often mate in tropical climes?
Caleb: Wait, are we talking about Death Eaters or Dementors?
Noah: Oh, I meant Dementors.
Caleb: Oh, you said Death Eaters first, I think. Unless I heard wrong.
Noah: Oh, I did? I meant Dementors.
Caleb: Oh. Well, I think they’re even less alike. Ringwraiths and Dementors.
Caleb: Yeah, because Ringwraiths are…
Noah: Because they at least look similar in the movies.
Caleb: Ringwraiths were originally men, and Dementors are just these things.
Noah: Did you know they best love to mate in tropical climes?
Caleb: Well, that’s great for their lives, but…
Kat: [laughs] All right, guys, I got the information here. It’s in Chapter 17 of Book 2. It says:
“When first created, the Chamber was accessed through a concealed trapdoor and a series of magical tunnels. However, when Hogwarts’ plumbing became more elaborate in the eighteenth century (this was a rare instance of wizards copying Muggles), the entrance to the Chamber was threatened, being located on the site of a proposed bathroom. The presence in school at the time of a student called Corvinius Gaunt – direct descendant of Slytherin and [reads as “anti-descendent”] antecedant of Tom Riddle…”
Is that right? I probably said that wrong.
Kat: Ant… antescend… either way.
Caleb: Yeah, “ante” means before, so…
Noah: Yeah. “Anti” would mean something completely different.
Caleb: “Ancestor” is an easier word. There we go.
“…explains how the simple trapdoor was secretly protected, so that those who knew how could still…”
“…so that those who knew how…”
This is very… not… all right. Either way, it could still be accessed…
Caleb: Words, words, words.
“…even after the newfangled plumbing had been placed on top of it.”
Phew. All right, got that out. [laughs] Antecedent. Thank you, Michael. Antecedent.
Caleb: Oh, antecedent. Yeah. Got it. I’m obviously not reading, so…
Noah: Before we move on, Caleb, I’m going to have to impress upon you that you do your Gollum voice for the fans.
Caleb: I mean, it might come out randomly. I can’t do it on cue.
Caleb: So let’s keep going, and maybe if people stick around they’ll get a surprise.
Noah: All right.
Kat: But yeah, either way… so, that’s cool. Don’t we have a voicemail now, Noah?
Caleb: Oh, yeah.
Noah: We do! We do have a voicemail, Kat!
Kat: Who’s the voicemail from?
Noah: Umm… did you write it in the doc?
Kat: I did. It’s Alastor from Glasgow.
Noah: [laughs] Oh, I see that! It was right in front of my face, in bold and caps.
Kat: So let’s go ahead and play that voicemail now, okay?
[Audio]: Hey guys, this is Alastor calling from Glasgow, Scotland. I just wanted to ask you guys, I think reading the… rereading the books when listening to the chapter-by-chapter discussion, it makes me wonder if movies were really the best way to adapt the Harry Potter books. I’m so used to watching box sets where things are over twenty-two episodes or over ten episodes. Do you think that the Potter series would have been better realized over, for example, an HBO series? Because we’d get so much more of the little day-to-day interactions in Hogwarts and the little bits of humor throughout. Just wanted to throw that out for discussion, guys. Thanks.
Kat: So everybody in the chat right now is swooning over his accent, and I must say, I have to agree. That’s a pretty hot accent. Just saying.
Caleb: Over it.
Noah: Did you hear that voice? Oh!
Kat: Yeah, it’s lovely. He has a beautiful voice. Alastor, if you’re listening, love your voice!
Noah: You have an awesome voice. Call in again. Be on the show.
Kat: That’s right. [laughs] I’d love to listen to you for two hours.
Noah: Make the Harry Potter series an HBO series? I don’t know because I don’t know if there’s that much nudity in Harry Potter.
Kat: [laughs] Okay, well not every HBO show has… well…
Kat: Okay, okay. All right, all right. I take that back. But…
Caleb: Yeah. No, I definitely agree. I mean, aside from not having that appeal, but I think it would have… it could have worked a lot better as maybe a mini… or even just a full-length series since there’s seven books. Obviously they were never going to do that because there’s more money in the movies, but I always thought… I agree with this comment completely. It could have worked a lot better as a series.
Kat: Yeah, absolutely. I feel like a lot wouldn’t have been cut out.
Caleb: It’s so episodic, the books are. So, I just think it fits with that so much more.
Kat: Yeah. It would have been so epic! The cliffhangers? Imagine that. Oh!
Noah: And there’s so many. You can do a chapter an episode.
Kat: Yeah, a lot of people are saying it would be a great BBC series, and I totally agree.
Noah: Because I think, at least for me, I thought some of the movies just lost some of that great British character or some of that stuff that could have been in there because if you have such a short movie, you have to condense it so that you’re just telling the best story you possibly can.
Noah: I thought Prisoner of Azkaban had the most character of all the movies, in my personal opinion. But I know when David Yates came up to the plate to direct the last movies, he wanted to put in some of that British character too, but I don’t know if that was felt by some of the American audiences, necessarily. But that’s often the best stuff, and maybe you need a TV series to have all those details in there.
Kat: Although, I disagree with the fact that… remember it was going to be… they were talking about making it into an animated series? That…
Caleb: Hmm, yeah.
Kat: That would have been bad.
Caleb: I would not have liked that.
Kat: No. Disagree. Disagree completely on that one. But yeah, a live-action series? That would have been amazing! Same actors you think? Do you think we could have gotten the same people?
Noah: Who knows if something is coming?
Caleb: Yeah, I mean, maybe they will in the future when they’ve had some time to let it sit. But I think they could still explore a series.
Kat: I hope so. Maybe after The Casual Vacancy is done because Jo has kind of already got one BBC series going at the moment.
Caleb: Right. Because isn’t what they’re doing with The Avengers? They’ve obviously had the big movie, and they’re doing a sequel.
Caleb: Aren’t they doing a TV series on it?
Kat: I don’t know. I hadn’t heard about that.
Caleb: I feel like that’s true. Or it’s some other big, epic movie that just came out. I can’t remember.
Kat: Hmm, okay. Cool.
Caleb: Courtney – the person who’s doing all of our tech right now and who’s awesome – just confirmed, yes, they are doing a series for The Avengers. So, maybe they’ll do something like that for Harry Potter soon, someday.
Kat: That’s dope. That would be awesome. Do you think that would happen though in Jo’s lifetime? I honestly think that Harry Potter will not be remade until – God bless her – Jo is no longer with us. I don’t think she’ll let it happen.
Noah: And we’ll watch those movies all decrepit and angry that it’s not pure.
Noah: I don’t know. [laughs]
Kat: [laughs] I know, I didn’t mean to bring down the chat. Sorry, guys!
Noah: That ends the book discussion though, right?
Kat: I believe it does, yeah.
Caleb: It does.
Kat: Unless… if anyone has any other points they want to make, give us a call.
Kat: She is immortal, I know! She is immortal. I’m sorry.
Caleb: She actually has the remaining supply of the Philosopher’s Stone.
Noah: Philosopher’s Stone.
Kat: There you go, exactly.
Noah: Oh my God. Whoa.
Caleb: Old Nick hooked her up.
Kat: Oh my gosh, I’m getting a lot of hate right now in my chat. Sorry, guys. [laughs]
Noah: [laughs] “JO IS NEVER GOING TO DIE,” says GrangerGirl. Yes.
Caleb: So, we’ll go ahead and… we’re going to do a quick chat about the movie. I was just paying attention to some of the things you guys said as we watched the movie, and feel free to keep talking in the chat as we just hit some various points in the movie. But first off… so the film version of Harry Potter and the Chambers of Secrets was released back in 2002, ten years ago. Crazy. It became the third film to exceed… what is it, six hundred million Euros? Is that right? Yeah, six hundred million Euros in international box office sales and received generally favorable reviews.
Kat: Wow, that’s a lot of money.
Caleb: So yeah, just the second movie in the series and it was already making big money.
Kat: Wow. That lady rich.
Caleb: Oh, it was six hundred pounds, not Euros. My bad. But still, yeah, that’s a lot. Okay, so in the actual movie, what I… I saw the chat pretty much explode when Dobby showed up, and I think that’s a pretty big point for everyone, when Dobby shows up in the Dursleys’ house and we finally get to see a house-elf. And I just thought the movie creators did such a good job of making house-elves. It was exactly how I pictured them in the books.
Kat: Yeah, absolutely. I love everything about Dobby. He’s amazing. Amazing.
Noah: I almost thought that the detail of Dobby in Chamber of Secrets was a lot more than in Deathly Hallows. I just… I felt that that Dobby was more real, in a way. He was more detailed.
Kat: I think he was more energetic in this movie.
Kat: Just as wonderful, but more energetic.
Noah: Wow, everyone in the chat really loves Dobby.
Caleb: Yeah, there’s a lot of love.
Noah: There’s a lot of love.
Caleb: I agree with… the comments are bouncing so fast. Oh, this is Michael, that said that Dan did a great job in that scene. Yeah, because you’ve got to think about… he’s acting with really not seeing anything because Dobby is computer generated.
Caleb: So, he’s really not staring at anything but having to act. It’s some really good acting. I think the trio gets hit on a lot for their acting in the early movies, but I thought this was a really good job by Dan.
Noah: And by Dobby.
Noah: [laughs] He did some excellent acting.
Caleb: So, they go off… Harry goes off to the Weasleys after being locked up, and… so cassandra1447, when it hit this point in the movie, said:
“I love how Mr. Weasley’s perfectly okay with a stranger randomly turning up.”
Because Harry’s already at the breakfast table, and Arthur just sort of walks in. And I would have to agree, it is pretty amusing. But I think it’s just because there are so many of the Weasleys there. Small things like that, he sort of overlooks because there’s just so much going on at the average Weasley breakfast.
Kat: Yeah, and it’s Harry Potter. Who wouldn’t let Harry Potter into their house for a meal? Just saying.
Kat: And Mrs. Weasley is amazeballs. She loves everybody, so… and I’m sure Ron has talked about his best friend, Harry Potter.
Caleb: Right. He also… I think it’s also really funny – and I think someone brought this up in the chat – that [laughs] Percy is the only one who looks like a hot mess at breakfast.
Caleb: He looks like he just rolled out of bed, but everyone else looks really nice, which is really ironic because Percy is the prim and proper one, the stuck up little twit, and he’s the one…
Kat: Well, isn’t he the only one who was actually just getting out of bed?
Caleb: Yeah, so I guess he… I guess that’s to show that he was the only one who was doing what he was supposed to, asleep at the right time.
Kat: [laughs] Right, exactly. So, everyone else never went to bed to mess up all their hair.
Kat: That’s what it was. But it’s true. I know how much you dislike…
Kat: Weatherby, right?
Noah: I thought he was so cool in the beginning…
Noah: He was so cool in the beginning, though. That messy hair. Like a rockstar.
Caleb: What? No. Percy, rockstar, no. No, no, no.
Noah: In the very beginning.
Caleb: Anything but.
Noah: Aww, man. Sleeping late. Messy hair. Cup of coffee.
Kat: I don’t think he was sleeping that late. Isn’t it like six in the morning?
Caleb: No, it was just getting up at a normal…
Caleb: …morning hour.
Noah: Just in that scene, that was my sense of him. But then he went all downhill from there.
Kat: [laughs] Snapescape says:
“Percy is the antithesis of rockstar.”
Caleb: [laughs] I would agree.
Noah: Well, I can’t even pronounce that word, so…
Kat: Hey, I pronounced it correctly! That’s a first for me.
Caleb: Yeah, sometimes I think we make ourselves… people must think we’re like…
[Caleb and Kat laugh]
Caleb: …unable to read the English language. But it’s mostly just because we’ve got like thirty things going on at once.
Kat: [laughs] Exactly. Pretty much.
Caleb: We are masters of the English language, I promise. We’re not that dumb. But anyway…
[Caleb and Kat laugh]
Caleb: So, they eventually go to Diagon Alley and Harry, of course, messes up and ends up in Knockturn Alley. And I love this scene in Borgin and Burkes. It looks just so eerie and mysterious and so many shifty things going on. I really want to go into Borgin and Burkes and snoop around, see what I can find. I’d probably get into so much trouble, but…
Kat: Do they have one of those at the Wizarding World?
Caleb: I don’t know. I haven’t been yet, so…
Kat: I haven’t either. Bummer.
Caleb: Anyone in the chat? Does anyone know? Is there a Borgin and Burkes room in, whatchamacallit, the Wizarding World?
Kat: No, they don’t think so.
Kat: And everyone is saying that the deleted scene in Borgin and Burkes is epic.
Caleb: Oh, yeah.
Kat: That is a pretty great scene. It’s funny because I was watching the movie and I was like, “Where’s that scene?” And then I realized…
Kat: …it was a deleted scene.
Caleb: I need to go back and watch it.
Caleb: Someone also pointed this out in the chat, and I actually never really… I mean, I noticed it but never thought about it, how when Harry meets all these shifty people in Knockturn Alley, there’s a bunch of – or quite a few of – stereotypical witches, who are cloaked in dark clothing, look very much like a hag with a big nose, sort of trying to sneak up on him. So, I think that’s really interesting that they chose to characterize it that way.
Kat: Did we see the woman carrying the basket of toenails? Is she in the movie?
Caleb: I don’t remember, I don’t think there’s that one.
Caleb: I don’t remember seeing any toenails.
Kat: Aww, I would have loved to see that, like a basket full of toenails.
Caleb: I mean, I don’t think I would, though.
Noah: You would have loved to see that?
Kat: Sure, absolutely. Because it’s a throw… it’s a nod to the book. And Chris Columbus does a lot of good books. Oh, a tray. I’m sorry, FlightQuest91. But…
Noah: I thought it was wrong. I thought it was a tray. Right.
Kat: But, I mean, he puts in a lot of little nuggets like that, Chris Columbus does. So… oh well.
Caleb: Yeah. So, a lot of people were talking about how when Harry gets back into Diagon and he meets up with Hermione and Hermione uses Reparo on his glasses to fix them again, is this use of magic legal? Because technically… she’s obviously underage. She’s outside of school. So, is this use of magic legal? A lot of people in the chat were saying that it cannot be traced just because it’s in Diagon Alley and there’s so many people there that it’s hard to trace anyone. But I never really thought twice about Hermione using magic there. So, what do we think?
Kat: Yeah, I would agree. It’s got to be because it’s in Diagon Alley. Must be.
Noah: And it’s kind of a repeat. She does it in Philosopher’s Stone too, right? Clean his glasses?
Kat: That was on the Hogwarts Express though, right?
Caleb and Noah: Right.
Caleb: And they’re allowed to use it there, right?
Noah: Well again, the Trace is probably…
Kat: Well, but they know that they’re all underage because they’re on the Hogwarts Express.
Kat: So, it must be legal there because they play… well, Exploding Snap, is that considered magic? Probably not.
Noah: It is in Muggle communities.
Noah: If you’re seen.
Caleb: But I guess it’s also just the fact that, even if it cannot be traced, because so many people… it’s the fact that Hermione does it anyway because she’s so…
Kat: Right. I mean…
Caleb: …stickler for the rules.
Kat: It’s definitely not legal, but who cares. She’s just fixing his glasses.
Noah: It would be terrible if everyone swamped on her because she had done this illegal spell.
Caleb: And they just tackled her. [laughs]
Noah: And just carried her away.
Kat: Right. [laughs]
Caleb: Never to be seen again.
Kat: Harry should just get contacts, or LASIK or something.
Caleb: Seriously, get with it.
Kat: Just saying.
Noah: He’s actually magical. He shouldn’t even need glasses.
Noah: I mean, they should just be able to magically correct your vision with a…
Caleb: Maybe that’s not possible.
Noah: With a swish and flick. Anyway…
Kat: [laughs] Okay.
Caleb: So in Flourish and Blotts, when they’re leaving, when there’s the run in between the Malfoys and Harry and the Weasleys, Lucius recognizes Hermione and brings up that Draco apparently talks about Hermione a lot at home. And [laughs] I think that’s pretty amusing. Why does… and obviously Draco’s probably complaining because she gets such good marks and is so smart and she’s a Muggle-born, but he seems to be talking about her quite a bit.
Kat: Yeah, I think the Draco/Hermione shippers… yeah, exactly.
Caleb: Love this.
Caleb: Dramione, yeah.
Kat: Dramione, yup. Exactly. I feel like that…
Caleb: People love that.
Kat: There’s a lot of hidden love there that’s totally not canon. [laughs]
Noah: I think Emma Watson actually came out and said that she did have a crush on him when they were young.
Caleb: She did, yeah. She said of the actors, yeah, in the film…
Caleb: …she did, yeah.
Kat: …who doesn’t have a crush on Tom? Come on.
Noah: I don’t.
Kat: Well, I wouldn’t expect you to.
Noah: All right.
Caleb: I have a crush on his ability to act really well.
Kat: He’s a pretty great actor. I didn’t have a crush on him until I saw him at the Studio Tour, and that boy is gorgeous in real life.
Kat: I’m just saying. [laughs] I have much more appreciation for the Felton fans now.
Caleb: Yeah. So, they eventually get to the scene where they’re in King’s Cross Station and, of course, Harry and Ron cannot get through the platform, and then they decide to take off in the Ford Anglia. And Harry reminds Ron that Muggles are not used to seeing flying cars, but obviously there is some time for some people to spot it because we know in the books they mention how people saw them flying. But I’m just thinking, imagine if you suddenly saw a flying car. And not just that, but then suddenly that flying car disappeared.
Caleb: How would you react?
Kat: Do we have knowledge… do the Harry Potter books exist in this world?
Caleb: What do you mean?
Kat: Like I’m saying if I were to step outside right now and see a flying car, I would be ecstatic.
[Caleb and Kat laugh]
Caleb: I would be screaming, “Come and get me!” [laughs]
Kat: [laughs] Right. But twenty years ago, before anything happened with the books or whatever…
Kat: …I’d probably pinch myself to wonder if I was dreaming.
Caleb: I would probably go insane. Like certifiably insane. I would try to convince people of what I saw and be very determined about it. And they would probably commit me to a padded room.
Kat: And that’s your Gryffindor nature right there.
[Caleb and Kat laugh]
Noah: I’d drop everything and just chase it. Wherever it went.
Kat: Yeah, that’s…
Caleb: Hufflepuffs are good finders.
Kat: That’s right, that seems like you.
[Caleb and Kat laugh]
Noah: I have to find it.
Kat: I don’t know. That’s an interesting question, though.
Caleb: Yeah. I also… a lot of people were talking about this in the chat, and I love it too, when the train… they realize the train is right behind them on the car and then they both turn around and you see Hedwig [laughs] look at the train and then Hedwig’s eyes pop really big.
Caleb: I really love that part.
Kat: [laughs] Yeah, it’s pretty great. She’s such a character.
Caleb: Yeah. They did a good job with that movie.
Caleb: They do finally get to Hogwarts and, of course, crash into the Whomping Willow. And the poor Ford Anglia is traumized for life. Beaten, all sorts of ways, mistreated.
Noah: It totally is. It was abused.
Caleb: Yeah, it’s really a sad story. And probably needed some counseling from the centaurs in the forest, but that’s where it goes for its new life.
Noah: I mean, if you think about it, all of its parts assemble into a sort of consciousness once it gets close enough to Hogwarts. That must have been like all the pain and the battering from the Whomping Willow just got onto it the moment that it became conscious, the moment it was really birthed, it felt pain, because of these kids, and then it saves them later.
Noah: This magic car is enslaved to them until it leaves.
Kat: WatchS asked us:
“Can a Muggle follow the trains from the air, do you think?”
So do you think that Muggles, if they were in an airplane, is that what you’re saying? I think that’s what he or she is saying. I don’t think so because didn’t we kind of come to the conclusion that it’s under the… that charm that’s escaping me at the moment?
Noah: Secret Fidelius Charm?
Kat: Yeah, yeah, that one.
Noah: We did say that. We still don’t know if that’s true. It might just be a very clever…
Kat: True. They’re all talking about the sweaty hand line, which is pretty great.
Kat: [as Harry] “It’s all sweaty!” [laughs]
Noah: Wait, when is that? I forget.
Caleb: When Harry is trying to pull Ron up, isn’t it?
Kat: Yeah, yeah.
Noah: [laughs] Oh, yeah. [as Harry] “It’s too sweaty!”
Kat: “It’s all sweaty!” I just like the way he says “sweaty.”
Caleb: [as Harry] “Sweaty.”
[Kat and Noah laugh]
Caleb: So, there is a lot of talk in the chat whenever we finally got into the Great Hall with Dumbledore because this is the last movie we see Richard Harris as Dumbledore. It was really sad when he passed away. But there’s a lot of love for Richard Harris in this chat, [laughs] but not a lot of love for Michael Gambon. Personally, I always thought Richard Harris… he’s obviously the original Dumbledore, and there’s something about his whispery voice that is just so magical that encompasses Dumbledore so well. But I also did… aside from the third movie, there were some moments. But I also really grew to love Gambon as Dumbledore.
Kat: Yeah, and we have definitely talked about this before. I don’t feel like Richard Harris could have had the intensity in the later books that Dumbledore really needed to have.
Caleb: Right. So, if we could have combined Harris’s voice and maybe facial mannerisms with Gambon’s dexterity, we would have had the perfect…
Kat: And wardrobe.
Caleb: [laughs] Yeah, and wardrobe.
Noah: Oh guys, I completely disagree so much. I have to say that Richard Harris is my true Dumbledore, deep down.
Noah: And if you guys had seen the old Richard Harris in this Irish film, The Field – it’s an adaptation, it’s a play – he’s young enough that he is such… voice and aggression. He could have been it. He could have been great. Michael Gambon has never really been able to do it for me.
Kat: I feel like… yes, as an actor he could have pulled it off, but what I’m saying is the Dumbledore he played in the first two books was too soft. Was too soft.
Kat: You couldn’t… I can’t see any intensity in that Dumbledore.
Caleb: Which I think worked for the first two movies because of the plot of the first two movies.
Noah: It was so magical.
Caleb: But I think it fits that he is very somewhat subdued and magical in the first couple of books, but Dumbledore changes. His relationship with Harry changes a lot in those later books. So, I think Gambon playing him more actively was appropriate. At least in my opinion.
Kat: Right. No, I completely agree. Completely.
Noah: I mean, they could have CGI’d Richard Harris and make him fly around and stuff. That would have been…
Kat: [laughs] Oh my God.
Noah: I would have been okay with that. [laughs] I mean while he was alive. But… yeah.
Kat: Yeah. Me gusta Dumbledore. Yes.
Caleb: But… yeah.
Kat: He is the role model for our show, so let’s be honest. We all love Dumbledore.
Noah: Alex246011 says:
“Can I call in?”
Noah: And we want to say yes. Yes, of course you can call in. Everybody in this chat, go ahead and call in and we’ll answer all of your questions and we can talk about the movie together.
Caleb: So, their first class in the movie is the Herbology class and of course they are working with Mandrakes. So, Noah, this is your shining moment.
Caleb: The Mandrakes are so ugly, but they did such a good job with creating these plant slash creature slash whatevers.
Noah: Well, the Mandrakes think you’re ugly, Caleb.
Caleb: Well, that is not true.
Caleb: Let’s be honest.
Noah: I mean, it’s just looking at… you’ve got to look at it from their side of things. They are fighting to stay alive every single day, and you’re calling them ugly. [laughs]
Caleb: Well, they are.
Kat: They’re ugly, dude. Sorry.
Noah: That’s like…
Caleb: They’ve been in the ground. They haven’t had any vitamins from the sun to get themselves going, right?
Noah: You guys better be careful. You wouldn’t want the Liberation to come after you.
Caleb: Bring it. Come on.
Kat: Isn’t Marty already dead?
Noah: That… many Mandrakes have died. Marty, Maggie, Magenta…
Caleb: Why they all got to start with M?
Noah: They’ve all died as martyrs for the Liberation because Pomona killed them, but the main Mandrake… what’s his…
Kat: Oh! You don’t even remember his name?
Noah: No, he doesn’t have a name.
Caleb: It’s really important.
Noah: He doesn’t have a name. He’s just Mandrake. He is Mandrake the Mandrake. But…
Kat: Oh, man.
Noah: You just have to be careful because they have power.
Noah: And they will fight. They will fight you.
Kat: They don’t know where I live. Booya.
Noah: Oh, they do.
[Kat and Noah laugh]
Noah: Because I do.
Kat: I suppose that’s true. [laughs]
Caleb: So, Ron gets his Howler in the Great Hall and I really love the way they set up the Howler, like the paper mouth talking and everything and then it ripping itself up. I mean, it’s a little different in the books. I mean, they took a little liberty here, but I really did like the way they did it.
Kat: Yeah, that was definitely a good representation. I enjoyed that for sure.
Caleb: I also really liked how there’s the aside talking to Ginny and she looks really embarrassed. When her mom’s talking to her through the Howler.
Kat: A little bit, yeah. I mean, well, she was congratulated with a loud voice throughout the whole hall, so…
Caleb: Right. And Ginny does not want that much attention.
Kat: And she’s been at Hogwarts for, what, like three days?
Caleb: [laughs] Yeah.
Kat: Whoops. Oh well.
Caleb: So, we also get our first Defense Against the Dark Arts class with Lockhart, and it kind of made me think of… I don’t know if we talked about this much in the earlier episodes, but have any of you guys had a teacher like Lockhart? I’m just looking at… they did such a good job of setting up all the portraits because I was just thinking, yuck. So gaudy and self-immersed. But I can’t think of ever having a teacher actually like Lockhart. I feel like some people have to. There’s people like this.
Kat: I’ve never had someone with personality traits like him, but I’ve definitely had some hot teachers in my day.
[Caleb and Kat laugh]
Kat: My English teacher my senior year, I had the biggest crush on that guy. Hopefully, he’s not listening right now. I doubt it. But…
Caleb: He totally is.
Kat: Yeah. [laughs]
Noah: I just can’t believe that person actually exists somewhere, the actual representation of Lockhart, the most miserable person on the planet, knowing this.
Kat: Well, it was only his vanity that she took from that guy, right?
Noah: Vanity incarnate.
Kat: Right. But who…
Noah: But, I mean, he’s got to be the most doofy character in the book series, wouldn’t you say?
Kat: Most doofy?
Noah: Most goofy.
Noah: I don’t know why I said doofy.
Kat: [laughs] I don’t either.
Caleb: Goofy? I don’t know about that.
Noah: He just… he had so many rants though to Harry. Just in terms of the way the book was structured, I can’t think of any character that talks quite as much. Maybe Dumbledore on occasion, but Lockhart would have these large speeches and I don’t think many other characters got speeches like that to Harry of just nonsense.
Kat: “Celebrity is as celebrity does.”
Noah: Well, yes.
[Kat and Noah laugh]
Kat: I was just making a point like Lockhart would, you know?
Noah: He would do that. No, I got it. I got it.
Kat: “Fame is a fickle friend.”
Noah: Keep going.
[Kat and Noah laugh]
Caleb: And so when they have the scene out near… on the Quidditch pitch, I guess, Ron tries to curse Malfoy, but of course his crappy wand backfires on him and… him actually spitting up the slugs – it’s one thing to read about it…
Caleb: …but then seeing all of those slugs erupt from his mouth is just so gross.
Kat: Yeah, it’s really disgusting.
Caleb: [laughs] They did such a good job of it, but it’s just… ugh.
Kat: I wonder how that happened. Like… whoops, sorry about that.
Kat: I wonder how they… I answered a call and I answered it instead of adding them.
Kat: Sorry, whoever I just hung up on. Call back, please. I wonder how the graphics department did that. Did Rupert actually have to burp up slimy jelly slugs like that, you think?
Caleb: Hmm, I hope not.
Noah: They might have… I don’t know.
Kat: That’d be pretty nasty, right?
Caleb: I think it’d be computer animated. Generated. Whatever.
Kat: But there had to be something there. Otherwise… you know?
Noah: They were probably prop slugs and then with CGI.
Caleb: Oh, people in the chat were saying he did do it.
Kat: He did.
Caleb: Candy. Something.
Kat: Candy, yeah. There you go.
Caleb: We have a caller in here, I think.
Kat: We do. Who do we have on the line?
Caleb: Hi. Who do we have here?
Caller: My name is Matthew. I’m from Atlanta.
Kat: Hey, what’s up?
Caleb: Awesome, the ATLs representing out here.
Kat: Absolutely. You’ve got a question? Or a comment?
Caller: Yeah. Yeah, I know we’re not exactly there, but I figured now was as good a time as any. Just generally, what do you think of the adaption of this film versus the adaption of other films? Specifically the ones with different directors like David Yates and such?
Caleb and Noah: Hmm.
Caleb: I mean, I think Chris Columbus did a really good job adapting. The director of the next movie did a horrible job adapting. He made a great movie, but was terrible at adapting, I think. But I think Chris did a really good job…
Noah: That was an amazing movie.
Caleb: Yeah, but I think Chris did a really great job adapting. And he… it was obviously a little easier because the books were shorter. He didn’t have to worry about cutting out as much.
Kat: Yeah, and he cast the movie, so we have to applaud Chris Columbus because we would not have…
Kat: …the Harry, Ron, and Hermione that we do if it was not for him. Period.
Kat: We wouldn’t. So…
Kat: Go ahead.
Caller: Okay, so what do you think about the argument that the first two films are more tailored to children than the later films? And that makes it a worse movie, a lot of people argue?
Noah: Well, I think the earlier movies were catered to children because the books were catered to children as well. And being catered to children doesn’t make it a worse film, it just puts it in another genre. And again, when you think about adapting, there’s one thing to say, “Oh, it’s adapting the actual text and the plot of a story,” but it can also adapt the themes of a story or the nature of it. And I would say Prisoner of Azkaban, while maybe Caleb would say the details were off, it really captured the spirit for me of Prisoner of Azkaban and so it had all of that quirkiness. Even with extra add-ons, I thought it was one of the best adaptations, best movies.
Kat: Yeah. I, too, don’t agree that children’s movies – or making them geared towards children – make them worse. The first two books are the most innocent of the whole series despite the big themes and everything that happens. So, I think those adaptations are perfect. They don’t bother me. I don’t think they’re bad movies. They’re not Oscar winners, obviously.
Kat: But they are what they are.
Caleb: And I think Chris saw his appropriate exit time. I think he knew when he was done with it. And it would have been interesting to see how he would have done Prisoner, but it was obviously very different from the first two, which are very similar to one another.
Kat: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I agree.
Caleb: So, a lot of people were commenting… when we first see the writing on the wall – when Mrs. Norris is found Petrified – a lot of people were loving the music, and it says, “Making it very eerie.” And I agree. I mean, obviously the score for Harry Potter is brilliant throughout all eight movies, but I do agree that it does capture a very eerie sense in this scene.
Kat: Yeah, absolutely. Thank God for John Williams.
Caleb: Yes, he’s brilliant. Also, Noah, I don’t know if you caught this, but when Dumbledore suggests that Professor Sprout is raising some Mandrakes that will be perfect for restoring Mrs. Norris, she seems very eager to offer up those Mandrakes.
Noah: Oh, I know she is. It was just kind of strange. I mean, even that review – as we were talking about – it’s not like people… this was kind of known to people, or at least this one book reviewer who said that it was weird that there were Mandrakes being slaughtered who were semi-human-like. But yeah, I did notice that odd smirk on Pomona’s face. The giggled charm. The…
Caleb: She’s not as innocent as we think.
Noah: You know, the knife sharpening under the table.
Noah: You didn’t see that, but that was going on. She’s just… if you follow @MandrakeForever on Twitter, you’ll really see that she’s been up to some pretty no-good business. I mean, this Christmas she actually sent Fluffy on the Mandrakes just for a surprise. And what… actually one Mandrake did go out there to try and stay Fluffy off, but it died. That Mandrake died that day on Christmas. And Christmas will be forever remembered as the day the Mandrakes nearly died from Fluffy. But I did…
Kat: I think that’s already somebody else’s kind of big day.
Noah: Well, the Mandrakes have different days. But anyway, I did notice that on Pomona’s face. [laughs]
Caleb: I hate to bring up this… I hate to move into another point to encourage Noah, but…
[Kat and Noah laugh]
Caleb: …in the Transfiguration lesson, we get some possible more animal cruelty as we’re working on transfiguring rats into goblets.
Noah: And what about Ron’s half-goblet rat?
Caleb: Yeah, that’s… I would not drink out of that furry goblet. I know that.
Noah: Would you drink out of that goblet? [laughs]
Kat: [laughs] Hell no. Rats are nasty, man.
Caleb: They are gross.
Kat: At least people eat pigs… people who eat pork eat them on a normal basis. I don’t know anyone who eats rat on a normal basis, so…
Caleb: He should have just transfigured Scabbers into a goblet and then gotten rid of him.
Kat: Yeah. You know what a lot of people were saying is that, does Peter Pettigrew remember becoming that goblet?
Noah: That’s a good question.
Kat: Because Scabbers is Peter Pettigrew.
Noah: So, he transformed an already transformed human into something else? It’s just not…
Caleb: Maybe that’s why it didn’t work as well. I mean, obviously his wand is not super, but…
Noah: That’s what people said, yeah.
Kat: Someone is saying that in the book it’s not Peter Pettigrew. Is that true? It’s got to be because nobody else has rats.
Kat: Because McGonagall turns a bird…
Caleb: Bird into a goblet, yeah.
Kat: Right. Right.
Noah: Yeah, it’s definitely…
Caleb: It’s got to be Scabbers.
Noah: …got to be Scabbers. He’s got his little tail on the cup.
Kat: Right. I thought so.
Noah: Would you eat that cup?
Kat: [laughs] Why would you eat a cup?
Caleb: Eww, I don’t eat cups.
Kat: This isn’t my strange obsession, okay?
Caleb: This is a bigger question that we need to worry about you, Noah.
Kat: [laughs] Oh my God. Okay, so Laura – again, MuggleNet staffer – says, “That would have gotten awkward if it turned back into Peter when McGonagall fixed him.”
Caleb: That would have been really funny. I wish that would have happened.
Kat: Yeah, that…
Noah: Just chilling on the table.
[Caleb and Kat laugh]
Kat: That would have been awesome.
Caleb: That… yes. Just all of a sudden there’s this big, hairy man with no clothes on just sitting on the table in front of everyone.
Kat: Oh my God.
[Caleb and Kat laugh]
Kat: That’s so funny.
Caleb: “‘Sup, ladies?”
Noah: Shouldn’t… wait, but shouldn’t McGonagall have been able to identify another Animagus? She is Head of Transfiguration and an Animagus herself.
Caleb: I don’t know. I don’t think she would necessarily pay much attention to that. She just assumes it’s a pet and move on.
Kat: Yeah, I don’t think they have some secret, hidden connection amongst themselves.
Noah: You don’t think they do? Really?
Kat: No. You do?
Noah: Yeah, I’m pretty sure they’ve been whispering to each other the entire time.
Kat: Oh. Well, we should probably save this conversation for the next book…
Kat: …when we actually get into Animagi.
Caleb: Animagi. Yeah.
Caleb: Let’s see…
Kat: Why don’t we take a call? Who wants to call? I know there is a…
Caleb: Yeah, we got a call.
Kat: I had to decline a couple of people because they couldn’t get through and… I know FlightQuest was trying to call, and Michael.
Kat: Anyone? No?
Kat: Caleb, move on until we get a phone call.
Caleb: Okay. So, in the Quidditch match – this is something I had never noticed before, but there’s the scene where Harry and Draco are kind of facing off, they’re hanging up in midair, and Harry notices the Snitch above Draco’s shoulder, and the rogue Bludger is coming in. And Harry ducks, Draco ducks away from the Bludger, and so does the Snitch, like it’s a reactionary move from the Snitch to get out of the way of the Bludger. So, I thought that was really interesting because it’s almost like this Snitch has the recognition of the Bludger and reacts to it.
Kat: Oh, right. I didn’t even notice that, but yeah, so many people pointed that out.
Kat: I noticed that. Who’s the caller? Who do we have on the line?
Caller: Hi, this is FlightQuest. My name is Janelle.
Kat: Hi, thanks for calling. You have a question or comment for us?
Caller: I have a What If? question.
Caller: I was wondering what if owls were the rare ones and phoenixes were your common pets? What would happen with the phoenix tears? Would they have been a lot more rare? Would less people have died? What would happen with the whole timeline? The future would change. [laughs]
Kat: You’re slightly hard to hear. So, you’re saying what if phoenixes were less rare? What would happen?
Caller: What if owl’s and phoenix’s positions were swapped? What if owls were the rare ones…
Caller: …and phoenixes were your pets?
Caleb: Well, I think it has a lot to do with the fact that the phoenixes do have these really extravagant abilities, and that’s why they are so rare, because you rarely see something with that much power being so commonplace.
Kat: Right. Especially because, yes, owls in the Harry Potter universe are very smart. They are not smart in real life, kids. They are not smart animals. They dumb, actually. [laughs]
Noah: It sounds like you have personal experience.
Kat: No, no, no. Well, there was an interview a little while ago with the animal trainer from the films, and she talked about this, specifically. You guys can find it on MuggleNet if you want to listen to that interview. But she talked about that owls are the hardest animals to train, that they’re just stupid. No offense. I mean, I love them, but…
Noah: The owls are offended…
Kat: I’m sure that they are.
Noah: …if I may speak for them.
Kat: Why don’t you start a libertation front for the owls?
[Kat and Noah laugh]
Noah: I’m thinking about… well, I am thinking about starting a Desk!Pig Twitter.
Noah: I don’t know how that would go. It would just be a lot of moaning, I think.
Noah: Like, “This is so terrible! This hurts so bad!”
Kat: Yeah, let’s…
Kat: …just stick to the Mandrakes, buddy.
Noah: [laughs] Okay.
Caleb: So, the scene where Harry is waking up from regrowing his bones because Lockhart is an idiot, Dobby pops up in the hospital wing, on Harry as he’s looking around. And this scene, in the movie, when I saw it in the theater, it scared the crap out of me. Dobby, his big face…
Caleb: …just there all of a sudden, popping out, aimless.
Kat: Yeah, it’s those giant eyes. Wah.
Caleb: It’s like a little creature in your face. Geez.
Kat: I don’t know. I’m trying to remember how old I was when I saw this movie.
Caleb: I had to have been like… I guess I was mid teens or something like that.
Kat: So, I was probably twenty.
Noah: I was twelve. I grew up with Harry, we were the same age in the movies.
Caleb: That’s really special.
Kat: You were twelve?
Noah: I always thought I was him.
Kat: You know that for sure?
Noah: Yeah. Every movie, I’d be eleven, he’d be eleven. I’d be twelve, he’d be twelve.
Caleb: But that is not…
Noah: I’d be thirteen…
Caleb: That doesn’t mean… well, mine is better because…
Caleb: …I got the first Harry Potter book on my eleventh birthday. So…
Kat: I was probably twenty because I’m… Noah, how old are you? Twenty-two?
Kat: Yeah, so I’m eight years older. So, if you were twelve I was twenty. Lovely, I’m the old lady. It’s great.
Caleb: Oh, so cassandra1447 also made a good comment. When they were in the Dueling Club that there is this contrast between Snape and Lockhart where Snape is very dark and has black attire and Lockhart is in very light colors and looks almost golden and holy. I thought that was really interesting. Something I never really paid attention to. Especially since we don’t really associate Lockhart as, quote, “good.”
Kat: Right. No, that’s true. Yeah, I’d never thought about that before either actually. That’s a good point.
Caleb: Mhm. And a lot of people also loved… Harry went to Dumbledore’s office pretty shortly after that because he Parseltongued it up. But… and a lot of people were loving Dumbledore’s office and I must say, I agree. I really hope I have an office like that one day with all these weird trinkets and cool collection things. Yeah, let’s see. The… I mean, there’s… pretty much there’s not much that happens between… I mean, there’s stuff that happens but significantly in the movie they eventually obviously get to the Chamber of Secrets. I thought they did an amazing job. The set of that and the design was really great. Also, notice that… well this is actually a little bit before that, but in Riddle’s memory, Noah, there is a statue of a pig. Did you notice that?
Noah: I did. I was…
Kat: That’s the boar, right? The wild boars that are all around.
Caleb: Oh, yeah. That’s true.
Noah: Which is interesting based on, again, the idea that… in Pottermore we found that they are scared of pigs or that…
Noah: …pigs are more human.
Kat: They’re scared of pigs? Isn’t it that they’re…
Noah: No, what is the… what was the Pottermore info on pigs?
Kat: That they’re hard to Transfigure, right?
Noah: Right, because they’re essentially the least magical.
Kat: Right, right.
Noah: So, it’s interesting that Hogwarts seems to be so fascinated with pigs.
Kat: Right. Exactly.
Caleb: I had to turn away whenever they were in the chamber and they see the huge snake skin. I didn’t like it when we read about it a couple of episodes ago, or last episode, and I do not like it now. Do not like the big snake skin. Nope.
Kat: Yeah, no, that’s nasty. Yuck. Over it.
Caleb: And yeah, so the movie wraps up with the scene… well, one of the last scenes is Lucius… I think we talked about this when we were reading it, but Lucius looks really gross when he… and sounds really gross when he’s…
Caleb: …trying to use the Avada Kedavra on Harry. He’s like croaking almost.
Kat and Noah: [imitating Lucius] “Avada Kedavra.”
Caleb: Yeah, exactly. And Dobby of course – baller – blasts him away.
Caleb: And the movie is really emotional at the end and it’s not really in the book, but there’s this scene where Harry starts this applause for Hagrid returning to Hogwarts, and I really liked that they added that to the movie.
Kat: Yeah, yeah, that was definitely great. I enjoyed that little bit.
Caleb: All of the feels.
Kat: Yeah, yeah. Hey guys, we have Michael on the phone with us.
Michael Harle: Good afternoon. Can you guys hear me?
Kat: Yeah. Hey, Michael.
Michael: How are you?
Kat: Good. How are you?
Michael: I am exhausted. I had a huge Yule Ball party on the 15th and I’m still tired from it.
Kat: Well, that’s two weeks ago, dude.
Michael: I’m still tired. It was that big.
Noah: That intense.
Michael: Yeah. Thank God that’s over.
Michael: But yeah, no, the movie viewing was fun. It was really great having Warwick. That was fantastic.
Kat: Yeah, that’s actually what we’re going to next if you want to take it, Caleb. Go for it.
Caleb: Yeah, so we’re not going to go through everything. Just a couple of things, but Warwick was in the chat earlier and we are so thankful for him for joining us. It was a blast having him for the short time.
Kat: Yes, everyone applaud Warwick Davis. Clap.
Caleb: Yeah, he’s…
Noah: Kind of like clapping Hagrid at the end of movie, which was silly.
Kat: That’s right. [laughs]
Kat: But that’s a slow clap. [starts clapping slowly]
Caleb: So, let’s see…
Kat: [stops clapping] Okay, sorry. Go ahead. [laughs]
Caleb: So, one of the first questions we asked him was whether or not Rowling imparted any information about Flitwick to him, or did he decide certain things about Flitwick on his own, and Warkwick responded that he never spoke to Rowling about Flitwick’s character but there is so much in the books plus the scripts and the director really helped to flesh out the character. He said, “I really felt I got to know the character and was sad to say goodbye at the end of the last film.”
Kat: Which is great. I mean, yeah, I wonder how much of his story wasn’t in the books.
Michael: Well, I actually… I’m glad, Kat, that you used that question. That was my question and I asked it because just last night I was reading the Harry Potter Film Wizardry book and looking at some of Warwick’s previous interviews about Harry Potter, and he does… he seems so passionate about Flitwick. And he was also so passionate, too, about Griphook and wanting to play him that I thought maybe he knew something that we didn’t. Because he also played Flitwick so well. He was… even though he is only there briefly, he makes quite an impression.
Kat: He has one of my favorite parts in the entire series, of the movies. It’s when the Weasleys are flying with the fireworks in the fifth movie and he goes, “Ehh,” and he does the fist pump.
Kat: Love it! Love it! [laughs]
Caleb: I do, too.
Noah: I love that fist pump!
Kat: I do, too! Love it!
Michael: Yeah, that was really cool that he… I think that’s really cool that he pretty much developed all that just from… he read the books, which I think is awesome…
Michael: …because I know we get on a lot of the actors’ cases for that. So…
Kat: Yeah, totally.
Caleb: Yeah. Also, another question we asked him was, “If Flitwick could be romantically involved with any professor at Hogwarts, who would he pick?” And he said, “Hmm, I’ve never felt that way with the character, actually. I think he and Sprout would get on well – Flitwick’s almost as tall as she is!”
Kat: [laughs] Oh my God. Noah, how do you feel about that?
Noah: I feel like he’s going to have to probably go on the list of the… the liberation doesn’t pick him as a new target…
Noah: …as they’ve already chosen Caleb.
Kat: Oh no. [laughs]
Caleb: Whatever, bring it. Please.
Kat: [laughs] Bring it? Nice.
Noah: Of some Mandrake slander.
Caleb: All right, so I think we have time for just one more question. What was our favorite question?
Caleb: I really… oh, did you have one, Kat?
Kat: No, go ahead.
Caleb: Oh, now I lost it.
Noah: I mean, he did answer the… my question.
Kat: Oh, he…
Caleb: Which one was that? Oh yeah, you can go for that, Noah.
Noah: Well, towards the end of the conversation some people in the chat were saying, “Warwick, Warwick, what do you think of the Desk!Pig? The Desk!Pig?” And he was like, “What’s this Desk!Pig?”
Kat: Yeah, he actually asked, “What’s a Desk!Pig?”
Noah: He asked me, and I explained. I explained to him that we actually bring this up on every podcast to all of our guests. What is this Desk!Pig, this thing between a desk and a pig? And once explaining it to him, he said, on whether or not he would eat it – let me find the exact quote – “I’m sure the pig would be genetically different and therefore unsuitable for consumption – a bit like eating genetically modified foods!”
Caleb: Yes, I agree.
Noah: And that’s good, just the fact that he answered at all is like… I feel really special. I want everybody to answer this.
Caleb: [laughs] Does it make you feel warm inside?
Michael: I can’t believe he gave such a detailed, well informed answer considering he didn’t know what it was about two seconds before he said that. That’s truly Flitwick.
Kat: Warwick is a… he’s a badass. Let’s be honest here, come on.
Michael: That was pretty awesome. That was very kind of him to do that. [laughs]
Noah: Well, I would love to have him on the show sometime.
Caleb: Yeah. Hopefully we can do that. And we’ll post some of these great questions and responses probably on the Alohomora! website or something. We’ll post them somewhere when we release the episode because there’s some great stuff in here. And we really do appreciate Warwick taking the time out of his day to join us. It was really great having him on board.
Kat: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you again, if you’re listening, which I doubt, but thanks! We appreciate it. [laughs] And I was glad to see that so many downloaded his Pocket Warwick app, which you guys should definitely do if you didn’t. Because…
Caleb: Yeah, it’s free, so go for it.
Kat: Yeah, it’s amazing fun. I can’t even tell you. I reviewed it for MuggleNet too, so if you want to go check that out, you should. Google it or whatever, so… since I can’t put a link in the chat. Sorry, guys.
Kat: But I think that that wraps up our live show today, guys.
Caleb: Yeah. [starts clapping] Yay, we did a successful live show without any problems like last time!
Noah: We did. Yes, claps.
Kat: Yay! Thank you so much. It’s been super awesome having you all here. Yes, Ali, we will invite you to that dinner, if that ever happens – the Alohomora! family dinner.
Kat: Ali Wood, everybody, is a moderator on our forums, not that you didn’t know that.
Noah: Oh, yeah.
Kat: Anyway, okay, so I’m going to close out the show in the normal, traditional fashion here. If you guys want to be on the show, starting in the new year for Prisoner of Azkaban, as you know, that there are two ways you can do that. The first one is to submit content on the Alohomora! website – that’s Alohomora.MuggleNet.com. You can also send us a clip of yourself analyzing a part of the books. Send it to alohomorapodcast at gmail dot com and don’t forget, you need to have appropriate audio equipment in order to be on the show. So…
Caleb: Right-o. And just to give you guys all of our social media and every other thing we want you guys to have, you can follow us on Twitter at @AlohomoraMN, Facebook.com/OpenTheDumbldore, MNAlohomora.Tumblr.com. The phone number we have like a lot of you guys used today – 206-GO-ALBUS, that’s 206-462-5287. Our main website, Alohomora.MuggleNet.com, and again our email, alohomorapodcast at gmail dot com.
Noah: And remember you can always subscribe to us on iTunes and just automatically download it to your computer. And you can also rate and review us over on our page so that other people can find our podcast because that’s… we love to read your reviews there.
Kat: And guys, guys, guess what? We have a huge new announcement for you right here. You’re going to hear it first, all fifty-two of you. Right here. If you…
Noah: [attempts to make a drumroll sound] That is not a drumroll, but…
Caleb: Let’s try to do one. [drums on desk]
Kat: There you go! That’s better.
Noah: There you go.
Kat: If you go to Alohomora.MuggleNet.com right now, you’re going to see a link that says “Store.” And guess what? This means you can buy all of our products! Isn’t that amazing? So many of you have been asking us for Alohomora! T-shirts, Desk!Pig T-shirts, and all sorts of other products like Wizard/Werewolf/Unicorn shirts, we’re going to have iPhone cases, tote bags, water bottles. We’re going to have host shirts. It’s going to be absolutely incredible. You can order it from anywhere in the world, the shipping is really low, and it’s amazing. You guys should definitely go check it out. We’re going to be adding stuff all the time, so make sure you’re following us on Facebook and Twitter. That way you know when the new products are out. Yay!
Noah: And it’s really cool. You can customize certain stuff you want, you can change colors too. It’s just really cool and really easy to purchase.
Kat: Yeah, you don’t have to buy just black anymore, you can get them in the house colors. If you’re a Gryffindor and you want a red shirt, buy it! Awesome!
Caleb: Yeah. And we’re definitely going to have some more stuff rolling out, coming soon.
Kat: Very, very soon. Very, very soon.
Michael: [as Ron] I would just like to say that I would wear a Desk!Pig shirt. This is Ron by the way.
Michael: [as Ron] I would wear a Desk!Pig shirt. I’ve been listening in. Just so you know.
Kat: Oh, good! Thank you, Ron. Thank you. That’s very good to know.
Michael: [as Ron] You’re welcome. I’m just… yeah, no.
[Kat and Michael laugh]
Noah: And everyone check out Audiofictions!
Michael: [laughs] Smooth plug.
[Kat and Noah laugh]
Noah: Just do it! That’s Michael’s podcast, they’re great. I still have to… I would love to be on some day. I’ve just got to…
Michael: We’ll have you on. We will have you on when we start our new season. We’re taking a break right now over on Audiofictions. But yes, please while you guys are having your winter breaks come to Audiofictions, listen. We did a huge, huge show just recently with… it’s over two hours and it’s got plenty of stories for you, so head over there. Go wild.
Kat: Yeah, awesome. And, too, just to plug it, if you guys didn’t already know about the MuggleNet 2013 Fandom Calendar, it includes dates from the books, all of the photos on the calendar are directly from the fandom, so they could be pictures of you guys. It has birthdays, book and movie release dates. It is amazing. So, if you go over to MuggleNet.com there are links there for purchasing it as well. There’s flat rate shipping costs on that too, and that’s going to be offered only for another couple of weeks, so make sure you get it now before it is literally gone forever.
Michael: [as Ron] Yup, yup, Hermione has a copy of that calendar. She bugged me with it every day.
Kat: [laughs] I’m sure she does, Ron. But you love it, right? It’s amazing?
Michael: [as Ron] Yeah, no, no, no, it’s a nice calendar. I think she’s probably going to get me one for my birthday, so that she doesn’t have to bug me about it anymore.
Kat: Great, wonderful.
Michael: [as Ron] Yes.
Kat: Cool. Cool, cool. Well, thank you, Ron and Michael, for joining us. [laughs]
Michael: [as Ron] Oh, you’re welcome. [back to normal voice] You’re welcome, you’re welcome. Glad to be here.
Michael: That was a fun show, you guys. Great job.
Kat: Yes, thank you!
Noah: Thanks! Thanks everybody. That is our live show. It went excellently. Thanks everyone for coming out and sharing it and just… we’ll see you in Prisoner of Azkaban, right?
Kat: 2013! Woo!
Caleb: Wait, wait, Noah. Hold on.
Caleb: There’s… so we have actually another guest who is here right now.
Caleb: Yeah, so I think Gollum wants to say hello to everyone on Alohomora!.
Caleb: So, Gollum, you want to say hi? [as Gollum] Alohomora!? What’s an Alohomora!? Is it sweet? Is it juicy? [back to normal voice] Okay, we’re going to put him up because…
Kat: Yay! [starts clapping]
Caleb: …he’s going to be a little crazy.
Noah: That was so good!
Kat: That was a great Gollum.
Kat: That was excellent. Good job.
Caleb: People were asking way too much.
Noah: You should be the [unintelligible].
Kat: [laughs] Awesome.
Noah: That was amazing.
Caleb: [laughs] I try.
Noah: All right, from everyone here at Alohomora! I’m Noah Fried. Happy New Year!
[Show music begins]
Noah: See you in 2013 for the first episode of Prisoner of Azkaban.
Caleb: I’m Caleb Graves.
Kat: And I’m Kat Miller. Thank you guys for listening to Episode 19 Live of Alohomora!.
Noah: Open the Dumbledore.
[Show music continues]
[Caleb and Noah sing the “Jeopardy” countdown]
Noah: Keep going!
[Caleb, Kat, and Noah continue singing]
Noah: Keep going!
[Caleb, Kat, and Noah continue singing]