Transcript – Episode 195

[Show music begins]

Michael Harle: This is Episode 195 of Alohomora! for June 18, 2016.

[Show music continues]

Michael: Welcome back, listeners, to another episode of Alohomora!, currently’s global reread of the Harry Potter schoolbooks. I’m Michael Harle.

Kat Miller: I’m Kat Miller.

Rosie Morris: And I am Rosie Morris, and it is my pleasure to introduce our special guest for the day, Lyle Hokanson! Welcome to the show. You actually sponsored us on Patreon a few weeks ago, so we’ve said your name recently, but if you would like to tell us a little bit about yourself, that would be brilliant.

Lyle Hokanson: Hey, guys! So I’m Lyle Hokanson. Well, I am, I would say, a Ravenclaw because that was my first one on Pottermore. Recently I’ve gotten Gryffindor, so I’ve got in to “Ravendor,” but I think I’m going to stick with Ravenclaw for now. [laughs]

Kat: Good choice, good choice.

Michael: Yes.

Rosie: Stick to your guns.

Lyle: I’m from central Nebraska, I run a Harry Potter YouTube channel, and I just love Harry Potter. I love being on the show; thanks for having me.

Rosie: Thank you for joining us.

Michael: That’s awesome.

Rosie: And apologies for already managing to say your name wrong, despite you telling me exactly how to say it not 30 seconds before I did.

Lyle: No, it’s all good.

[Everyone laughs]

Lyle: It’s all good.

Michael: Lyle, how did you get into Harry Potter?

Lyle: So I actually started with the movies, unfortunately.

Michael: Oh!

Lyle: I’m always envious, and I wonder how people thought of Harry Potter before the movies. I wish I could’ve used my imagination. So I’ve read the Harry Potter books tons of times since, but I started out with [Movie] 1, [Movie] 2, and [Movie] 3 of the Harry Potter movies. My parents didn’t let us watch the [rated] 13+ ones until I was 13, so I had to wait for those! But I read the books way before I watched those, so I’ve always been into it, probably since I was seven or eight, I think.

Rosie: That’s good.

Kat: I feel like you’re not alone in coming to Potter via the movies. So I wouldn’t…

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: Don’t feel too bad about that.

Lyle: I think that’s more the younger generation, [laughs] for sure.

Rosie: And especially [Movie] 1 and [Movie] 2 are kind of kids’ movies, anyway. They’re nice Christmas kids’ movies that…

Lyle: Mhm.

Kat: Right.

Rosie: They’re okay to be watching separately from reading the books. It’s fine. [laughs]

Lyle: Definitely.

Kat: Yeah.

Michael: And I think a very important question to ask on this particular episode: Lyle, have you ever played quidditch?

Lyle: I have with my brothers…

Rosie: Awesome.

Lyle: … so not with a real quidditch team, unfortunately. But I have been getting into watching quidditch, as far as I kind of support the KU [Kansas University] quidditch team; I’ve gotten in touch with them on Twitter, and I’m doing a YouTube video about them right now, actually.

Kat: Awesome.

Lyle: So it’s a lot of fun. I love quidditch.

Michael: That’s awesome.

Kat: Me, too. I’ve been to the Quidditch World Cup a few times, and…

Lyle: I’m so jealous.

Kat: It’s a really good time. It’s really, really, really, really fun.

Lyle: I’m hoping to go. Yeah.

Kat: I highly recommend it to anybody who’s out there. If there’s a Muggle quidditch game going on near you, go see it. You will not regret it.

Rosie: Definitely.

Lyle: Yeah, I’m planning on going… I think it’s sometime in the next few months; I’m going to go out to Kansas and watch that game, for sure.

Kat: Awesome, awesome.

Michael: And of course, we asked that question because this week we are focusing on Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp, and we have split that book up into two episodes. This episode, we will be covering chapters 1 through 6 as well as the foreword, the “About the Author,” and some praise for the book that you’ll find in the pages. So make sure and read that first half of Quidditch Through the Ages. It may sound like a lot, but it’s actually a surprisingly brisk read. So make sure and take a look at that before listening to this week’s episode.

Rosie: And of course, before we get into our main discussion, we’d like to stop and thank our amazing sponsors. And this week our sponsor for the episode is Megan Blum on Patreon. Thank you so much, Megan, for all of your support.

Michael: Thank you, Megan.

Kat: Thank you.

Rosie: Thank you so much for helping us get to our $400 goal, which we have just reached. So thank you all so much.

Kat, Michael, and Rosie: Yay!

Rosie: You guys are amazing. And you can become a sponsor on Patreon for as little as $1 a month. We will continue to release exclusive tidbits for our sponsors, and we have some fantastic new products on there as well.

Lyle: And trust me, guys: It’s awesome. When I heard my name on there, I was like, “Hey, I’m on the episode!” It was pretty fun.

[Everyone laughs]

Rosie: And we do have so many people who have actually sponsored an episode that we are slowly working our way through. So if you haven’t heard your name yet, do keep listening; it will be coming up very, very soon. We also have some fantastic new perks available on Patreon, including some laptop or car decals… dee-cals, de-calls, however you want to say it in your accent…

[Everyone laughs]

Rosie: … T-shirts, as well; past T-shirts from events that we have done around the world. Please do go and check them out; they are there for you to go and get.

Michael: And with that, I guess we can move into our discussion of Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp, and published by Whizz Hard Books. Ha, ha, ha.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: So cheeky.

Rosie: It’s brilliant.

Michael: Yes, very, very, very fun. Before we get into the discussion of the contents of the book, I thought it might be worth talking about the release of this little book. It’s, I think, worthwhile to note as part of how you choose to conduct your Potter-reading experience, that Quidditch Through the Ages, along with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, were released as a set, I believe in 2001.

Rosie: Yep, March 1, 2001.

Michael: Yeah. So that was a year a little short of a year after we got Goblet of Fire. And…

Rosie: Yes. It was around the same time that Goblet of Fire went into paperback, I believe. At least in the UK.

Michael: Mhm.

Rosie: So it was very much… Harry Potter was in people’s minds at the time.

Michael: Rosie, was there any hoopla over the release of these in the UK? Because in the US, there was not.

[Kat laughs]

Rosie: The hoopla came alongside Comic Relief that year.

Michael: Mhm.

Rosie: And the Red Nose Day and all the things that come with that. I think you guys have just had an American version of Red Nose Day, is that right?

Kat: Correct.

Lyle: Yes, we did.

Rosie: And that’s come from our charity Comic Relief rather than your charity Comic Relief, which I believe is now disbanded, I think Kat said last week or the week before.

Michael: Yeah.

Kat: I think so. I mean, I don’t think anyone has said otherwise, yet.

Rosie: Sure. Okay.

Michael: As far as we know, though, these two books make very clear that the two are not related.

Rosie: Yes, they did! In the foreword, isn’t that interesting?

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: But yeah, our Comic Relief in the UK is a massive charity. We have two major fundraisers that cycle through, and when one’s not happening, the other one is, and that’s Comic Relief and Children in Need. And they have major telethons and raise millions and millions of pounds to help children and people in need, both in the UK and around the world. Comic Relief does lots of work in Africa and war-torn countries and really helps bring cheer to people as well as, well, needed aid.

Michael: Mhm.

Rosie: And for these books in particular, 80% of the price of each book went directly to Comic Relief in helping children around the world, which is amazing. And I think both of the books together raised 17 million pounds.

Kat: Geez.

Michael: Mhm.

Rosie: I don’t know if that’s a figure that’s still gaining or if that was the original amount.

Michael: Mhm.

Rosie: That’s what’s listed on Wikipedia at the moment. But yeah, they have raised a lot of money just from these two tiny little volumes. So yeah, I remember going and buying them as a set for Comic Relief pretty much as soon as they were released. So there was some hubbub about them, but it wasn’t a major midnight party book release or anything like that. What is interesting is that these were some of the first kind of miniature companion books… charity books that were created in the UK, as far as I am aware.

Michael: Hmm.

Rosie: Since then… There probably were other charity books and stuff that were created, but in my recollection, these were the ones that began a kind of tradition. And now we’ve got World Book Day as a thing, and once a year we have special companion books to various children’s series. There was a How to Train Your Dragon one this year, and popular authors create miniature versions of their series, or a companion, or an additional book, just a one-off…

Michael: That’s really cool.

Rosie: … as a charity book where all of that money goes back into World Book Day and to provide books and things for children around the country. So this was a starting point that has created a fantastic tradition of reading, which is really, really good.

Michael: That’s awesome.

Rosie: It is.

Michael: Well, and on the latest printings of the series – because at the time, Rowling had not established this charity – but Lumos is now acknowledged on the current printings of Quidditch and Fantastic Beasts on the back.

Kat: Mhm.

Michael: While not mentioned in the book, the proceeds also go to Lumos now, as well. The other worthwhile thing to note about the release time is, of course, 2001 was a major milestone year for Harry Potter because in November, that was the release of the Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone movie.

Kat: Mhm.

Rosie: Yes.

Michael: We were also, kind of, just in the beginnings of the Harry Potter drought that would occur, as far as the books went…

[Everyone laughs]

Rosie: Painful drought. Such a painful drought.

Michael: … as we were waiting for Order of the Phoenix, which would not be released for quite a while.

Rosie: You younger listeners do not know the pain.

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Kat: Well, see, I joined in the middle of the drought, so I understand half the pain.

[Everyone laughs]

Rosie: I think that’s actually… yeah, that’s the time that a lot of fans started creating the fandom, rather than just being individual fans.

Kat: Right.

Rosie: While we were waiting for Order of the Phoenix to arrive, we took over the Internet that had become this new thing and new way of connecting to fans around the world and…

Kat: Was a baby.

Rosie: MuggleNet itself was a baby and created around that time and was really kind of instrumental, along with the Leaky Cauldron and the other fan sites, in creating a space where fans could go and explore these books and go and explore the world in a new way and theorize and do what we’re kind of doing now. Which is quite nice to continue this tradition.

Michael: Yeah. It was perfect timing as far as that ability to share ideas and thoughts with other Potter fans because the Internet was really starting to take off in terms of what we could share and how we could share it at that time.

Kat: Mhm.

Rosie: Yeah.

Michael: So it really did open up the Potter fandom in that way because we would not get another Harry Potter book until June of 2003 with Order of the Phoenix. So it was quite a long drought where we mostly had the movies to look forward to. Interestingly, [it] also would not be the first time that Quidditch would save us. Because during the Harry Potter movie drought between 2002 and 2004 while we waited for Prisoner of Azkaban, Quidditch Through the Ages was famously adapted not into a movie but into a video game.

[Rosie laughs]

Michael: It is the only Harry Potter book that has strictly only inspired a video game and no other media. Of course, Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup [is] probably one of the best Harry Potter games.

Kat: Totally agree. It’s amazing!

Lyle: See, that was something I got into because that’s about the age where I was really into Harry Potter. And my sister bought the game for me and I had so much fun with that game. Such great memories. [laughs]

Michael: Yeah, yeah, it’s an excellent game. And it’s surprising how much it actually borrows from the book to kind of flesh itself out. And simultaneously the Harry Potter Trading Card Game was also released around this time. It would eventually release a Quidditch extension pack and a lot of those cards were also inspired by Quidditch Through the Ages as well, with a lot of the cards referring to special moves in Quidditch and many of the 700 fouls, which we will encounter this week as we go through the book.

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: I think there is even a card in here called “Vanishing Referee.”

Kat: Nice.

[Rosie laughs]

Michael: And it’s got a picture of a referee out in the Sahara Desert.

Lyle: [laughs] That’s awesome.

Michael: [laughs] But Rosie, would you like to take us into the introduction of Quidditch Through the Ages?

Rosie: Sure. We will start with the very first pages of Quidditch Through the Ages which include, as all good library books should, a borrower list…

Michael: Yes.

Rosie: Although these are probably a thing of the past in libraries nowadays…

Michael: Mhm.

Rosie: … where the names and the dates that the book was due back are written. And if you take a look at that list, we have some very familiar names.

[Michael laughs]

Rosie: Which, considering the date of this book and the book that had just come out, the fourth name on this list is of course Mr. C. Diggory…

Kat: Mhm.

Michael: Mmm…

Rosie: 3rd of July the date that the book was due back. Hopefully he returned it and it wasn’t that year that he…

Lyle: Holy cow.

Kat: Well, there are other names, so I assume that he returned it. [laughs]

Rosie: Yes, of course. That’s true.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: Other names including, of course, Oliver Wood and Marcus Flint, Ernie Macmillan, Angelina Johnson…

Kat: Terry Boot…

Rosie: … Katie Bell, Terry Boot… I’m trying to remember what the first name of the Fawcett girl was…

Kat: Uh…

Michael: This is interesting. Rosie, are you using the original first edition?

Kat: I have the first edition, yes.

Rosie: I don’t know. I might be. [laughs]

Michael: Because I’m looking at the new edition and…

Rosie: Are they different?

Michael: Yeah. A bunch of those names have been eliminated. Fawcett is not in there, Cedric isn’t in there…

Rosie: Oh, that’s interesting.

Kat: That’s sad.

Lyle: Because I have the one that’s digital on iBooks, and it has all those names. And that’s new, I’m sure.

Michael: Oh, how weird! I didn’t even… I should have looked for that different…

Kat: Well, here… wait. Let me read the names, Michael, and you can say…

Michael: Yeah.

Kat: So I have Oliver Wood, Dunston, it looks like, Marcus Flint, Cedric, Angelina Johnson, Ernie Macmillan, Terry Boot… yeah, I can’t remember Fawcett’s first name – you’re right… Bundy, Katie Bell, Warrington, Dorny, Nott, Capper, Bulstrode, Weasley, Granger, Potter…

Lyle: Bulstrode, Millicent Bulstrode is how you say it, I think.

Michael: Yeah, the names I have on here are Ron Weasley, and somebody has written, “stinks” next to Ron’s name.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Oh, boy!

Michael: N. Longbottom, S. Bones, and somebody has written next to Susan Bones’s name, “is great.” And they’ve put an “8” instead of a… so, “G-R-8.”

[Lyle and Rosie laugh]

Michael: H. Granger, Padma Patil, E. Macmillan, M. Bulstrode, H. Granger – Hermione’s on here twice! [laughs] – and D. Malfoy.

Lyle: That’s completely different than mine.

Kat: So those were just modernized, basically. Because first off, great (“G-R-8”) is text speak, so…

Michael: Yeah.

Rosie: Yeah. And that wouldn’t have been used at the time.

Kat: I’m not sure they would ever have actually written that in there. That’s funny.

Michael: And Ron’s is marked as overdue.

[Lyle laughs]

Kat: Thats not surprising, I suppose.

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: It’s also interesting that those kids, I’m fairly sure, are exclusively Harry’s year.

Michael: Mhm. Yeah.

Kat: They are, yeah.

Rosie: Which would make them more movie canon, isn’t it? It’s more the kids that they actually know the names of from the films rather than these extra characters that do exist and we know of from the books.

Michael: Yeah. Well, yeah, because some of those characters that you named from the original list I don’t think even make significant appearances in the series. They’re just…

Rosie: No. I mean, we know them as fans based on… we recognize them as people in the background and the extras who have been given these roles.

Michael: Yeah.

Rosie: But I think… only characters like Lavender even barely made it into the films.

Michael: Mhm. Huh.

Rosie: So yeah, we know of them, but it’s nice to have the original list, I think.

Michael: Yes, absolutely.

Kat: And for the record, I looked up Fawcett on the Harry Potter Wiki, and they don’t even have a first name for her.

[Lyle laughs]

Kat: So… it’s not like we’re forgetting.

Lyle: I feel like I’ve heard it before, though.

Rosie: Well, I don’t feel so bad. [laughs]

Michael: I don’t think the information for Madam Pince has changed at all – her little warning.

Kat: Hopefully not.

Michael: [laughs] So that’s probably the same.

Rosie: So we will look at that in just a moment. But before we get to that information from Madam Pince, we have a lovely page of praise for Quidditch Through the Ages

[Michael laughs]

Rosie: … which begins with Bathilda Bagshot. Which is quite interesting considering how important she would later become in the rest of the series. It says, “Kennilworthy Whisp’s painstaking research has uncovered a veritable treasure trove of hitherto unknown facts about the sport of warlocks. A fantastic read.” I just really love all these bits of praise because they’re just so perfectly book-industry phrases…

Michael: Mhm.

Rosie: … and exactly what you would expect in all these books. I love anything that validates wizarding texts as real.

Lyle: Mhm.

Michael: Yeah, if you opened up a Kirkus Reviews, this is what you would find. [laughs]

Rosie: Exactly. [laughs] So the editor of Which Broomstick, which is quite funny…

[Michael laughs]

Rosie: Do you guys have Which? magazine over in America?

Michael and Kat: No.

Kat: What is it?

Rosie: No? So, Which? magazine is a magazine that’s meant to help you decide what kind of thing you want to buy.

Kat: Oh.

Rosie: So you can get Which? for laptops… [unintelligible]

Michael: Oh, so it’s like a Consumer Reports.

Kat: Yeah, it’s called Consumer Reports here.

Michael: Wow, that’s hilarious. That adds a nice additional level of humor…

Lyle: Humor, yeah. [laughs]

Michael: … for the Brits.

Rosie: Yeah, especially with the pun as well. Because it’s not a witch’s broomstick, it’s Which Broomstick.

[Lyle laughs]

Michael: That reminds me of the lost pun… I’m discovering this now because for the first time I’m reading Philosopher’s Stone, not Sorcerer’s Stone.

Rosie: Right.

Michael: And the pun about the Spello-tape…

Rosie: Yes, Sellotape.

Michael: We completely lose that pun over here. So, yeah.

Rosie: Oh, no!

Michael: Because we don’t have Sellotape, but it’s the same thing here.

Rosie: Yeah.

Michael: I just thought it was funny because, “Oh, which witch? That’s hilarious!” But apparently there’s an extra layer of humor there. [laughs]

Lyle: [laughs] That’s what I thought, too.

Rosie: Additional layer. [laughs] But yes, so there’s Which? magazine which will let you consumer check which ones you want to buy. So that one says, “Whisp has produced a thoroughly enjoyable book; Quidditch fans are sure to find it both instructive and entertaining,” which is exactly what you want from this kind of book. We then have something interesting…

Michael: Yeah.

Rosie: Because we have a character called Brutus Scrimgeour…

Michael: Mmm…

Rosie: … who we never know anything else about. I don’t think we actually know anything about Rufus Scrimgeour’s family from the main text, but perhaps this is [his] father, brother…

Michael: Relative of some sort.

Rosie: Any idea?

Kat: Uh…

Lyle: Either way, it’s interesting because he wrote The Beater’s Bible and he’s talked about later in this. And isn’t he awful at fouling or something like that? There’s something about him later in the chapters.

Michael: He’s the one who his first rule in his book is “Take out the Seeker.”

Lyle: Right. Right. [laughs] So that’s funny…

Rosie: [laughs] Right.

Michael: Isn’t that funny when you think of how Rufus went after Harry?

Lyle: Mhm.

Rosie: Yeah, the first thing he did was go after the Seeker. So…

[Michael laughs]

Rosie: He’s obviously learned from this family snitch.

[Lyle and Michael laugh]

Kat: Yeah, according to the Wiki, it just says that they’re family members possibly. So, that’s all we know. [laughs]

Michael: I would think [it] highly likely considering the wizarding world has a small pool of families, so…

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: Right. Agreed.

Rosie: It’s a reasonable assumption to make, especially with the unusual surname.

Michael: Mhm.

Rosie: So, he has nothing bad to say about this.

[Michael laughs]

Rosie: Of course, this is all highly recommended. We then have the lovely Gilderoy Lockhart making a reappearance, author of Magical Me. Interesting that they don’t list the rest of his books, which are perhaps discredited by this point.

Michael: [Michael laughs] That would have been funny if there had just been a long list of all those books. [laughs]

Rosie: Yeah.

Lyle: That’s probably his most well-known one. That’s the one that all the girls are reading because they want to know more about him instead of the other stories. [laughs]

Rosie: Lockhart’s quotation is of course solely about himself. It says, “Mr. Whisp shows a lot of promise. If he keeps up the good work, he may well find himself sharing a photo shoot with me one of these days.” Because he can never praise anyone without turning it back onto himself.

[Lyle and Michael laugh]

Kat: So, are we assuming that he wrote this after he lost his memory?

Lyle: No, Magical Me was in the bookstore when he was handing them out in Book 2.

Rosie: So, it would probably be around the same time that this was published.

Michael: Yeah, and if we’re going by the assumed canon, even though we got the book in 2001, Harry and his friends have been checking this book out since the late ’90s. Or mid-’90s. So it’s definitely been reviewed probably before then.

Kat: Okay.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: Right. You think about the fact that there are actually three timelines we’re dealing with here.

Rosie: It’s very confusing.

Kat: Because Harry’s timeline, the release timeline, and then the actual timeline that the book was written in.

Michael: Yeah. We will find examples throughout here that you canon lovers are going to cringe, because there are a lot of whoopsies in this book. So it will be interesting to see how we can try and untangle them.

Kat: Lovely.

[Kat and Michael laugh]

Rosie: I think part of that as well – we were talking earlier about when it was released and the rise of fandom. So in 2001, when the films came out and when everyone was waiting and Goblet of Fire happened, that was the birth of the Harry Potter fandom pretty much.

Michael: Yeah.

Rosie: It was the explosion. It was when America started getting everything. It was when everything exploded.

Michael: Mhm.

Rosie: So, I think this could have been written before that really happened, or not expecting what it would then become, of course.

Michael: Mhm.

Rosie: So, fact checking was perhaps not as…

Michael: Important?

Rosie: … important as Pottermore and things perhaps maybe are now. I think she tries a lot harder to be correct. And I think that can cause some friction, where she corrects herself.

Michael: Yeah.

Rosie: But yeah, take everything with a grain of salt, and just remember it’s meant to be a fun little book. Don’t take it too seriously. Someone else who doesn’t take things too seriously is Ludovic Bagman nice little segue there…

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: … who, of course we had just met in Goblet of Fire itself. And he says, “Bet you anything it will be a best-seller. Go on, I bet you.”

[Kat, Lyle, and Michael laugh]

Rosie: Definitely getting into his character there.

Lyle: Which is perfect.

Rosie: He needs the money. Please go and bet him.

[Michael laughs]

Rosie: And then, of course, rounding off with the fabulous Rita Skeeter, whose only review is, “I’ve read worse.”

[Lyle and Michael laugh]

Michael: Which, from Rita Skeeter, is high praise.

Kat: Yeah.

Lyle: That’s the punchline to the whole joke of the reviews.

Michael: Yeah, it’s great.

Rosie: It is. Just that one little page of reviews. I would happily read that kind of sense of humor over and over again. I want a little comic book of those kinds of things.

Michael: Yeah. Oh, and I just noticed here we get… on the title page, we actually get the address for Whizz Hard Books in Diagon Alley.

Kat: Yeah. That’s cool, huh?

Michael: So you can go visit them, if you like. 129 B, Diagon Alley. So if you have any grievances with the editors at Whizz Hard Books.

[Lyle and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: Which is interesting, because that must be somewhere near Flourish and Blotts and the other bookshops and things on the street.

Michael: Mhm.

Rosie: It’s good to know that even in the wizarding world where you only really have one main shopping street there are still multiple bookshops you can go to.

Michael: Yes. You have options.

Kat: There is no Whizz Hard Books in Orlando, sadly.

Michael: No.

Rosie: Maybe one day. If they expand.

Kat: Maybe.

Michael: Ah. They seem to have picked an address distinctly farther away from their competitor, Obscurus Books, who published Fantastic Beasts and are located at 18 A Diagon Alley. [laughs] So they’re not neighbors. [laughs]

Rosie: [laughs] There’s no publishing quarter of Diagon Alley.

[Michael laughs]

Kat: Nope.

Rosie: So after the review section, we get the “About the Author” section. Which is surprisingly short, perhaps. We don’t really learn much about Kennilworthy from this extract. It just says that he’s a renowned Quidditch expert, that he is the voice of Quidditch and Quidditch-related works. It names a few of the other books that he’s written, including He Flew Like a Madman, which is a brilliant name for a biography.

Kat: Yeah, do you notice the name though?

Rosie: “Dangerous” Dai Llewellyn.

Kat: Right. Isn’t that where Arthur was? Isn’t that the wing of St. Mungo’s that he was in?

Rosie: The Llewellyn Ward.

Michael: Yeah, the Dai Llewellyn ward. Yes, it is.

Rosie: Yes it was.

Kat: So that is a little nod to Order of the Phoenix. Probably.

Michael: Ooh.

Rosie: It is indeed. Yeah. It’s a bit of foreshadowing there, saying that it’s going to be dangerous and not somewhere we should go. Very true. Very nice. Other things including Beating Bludgers and Defensive Strategy, so it’s clear that he knows what he’s talking about. Finally, it gives you kind of a little bit of a glimpse of his home life, living in Nottinghamshire – which is a gorgeous part of the UK -, and “wherever Wigtown Wanderers are playing this week.” Which sounds very much like Wigtown Wanderers. They are a brilliant alliterative sports teams all over the UK, as I’m sure there are around the world. But it seems to me like alliteration is the thing to do – Chudley Cannons, Wigtown Wanderers. You can’t have a Quidditch team without alliteration, right?

[Kat and Michael laugh]

Rosie: And his hobbies include Backgammon, vegetarian cookery, and collecting vintage broomsticks. So we have solved the question from SpeakBeasty last week. There may not be vegans, or there probably are vegans in the wizarding world, but there [are] definitely vegetarians who like vegetarian cookery and Kennilworthy Whisp is one of them.

Kat: So, I wonder what his wand is made of.

[Michael laughs]

Lyle: Are they all made out of animal cores? Is there nothing that we know of, other than that?

Kat: Well, Ollivander wands use animal cores.

Lyle: Hmm.

Michael: Yeah, and it’s possible, I guess, to do custom cores. Ollivander doesn’t like to do them.

Lyle: Right.

Michael: Maybe other wandmakers are willing to, so that is… it’s possible that he got his wand from somewhere else. Not everybody has to go to Ollivander’s. So…

Rosie: But with vegetarianism, as long as the animal wasn’t hurt in the process, it’s generally acceptable.

Lyle: That’s true. It’s not vegan, it’s vegetarian. Right. Right.

Kat: Yeah, but I’m not sure you’d want a dragon heartstring in your wand.

[Lyle and Michael laugh]

Lyle: That’s a good point.

Kat: Maybe unicorn hair, because like…

Rosie: Or a phoenix feather.

Kat: Yeah. That’s not terrible.

Michael: Yeah, that probably wouldn’t harm them terribly. Yeah.

Rosie: There [are] options.

Michael: And, as I said before we started recording, vintage broomstick collecting would definitely be my hobby if I was a wizard. Because that’s awesome.

[Lyle laughs]

Kat: It sounds really fun.

Michael: It sounds super cool. Since I wouldn’t… since I collect the trading cards in real life, I feel like the equivalent would be either Wizarding Cards – I would collect Wizarding Cards and vintage broomsticks.

Lyle: And just imagine, a Muggle walks into your house and you have tons of old brooms laying around. It’s like, what the heck is going on here?

[Michael laughs]

Kat: I like to clean, okay?

Michael: [laughs] I like a clean house.

[Lyle and Michael laugh]

Rosie: Before we get into the main chapters of the book then, after the contents page, we get a quick foreword from our favorite Headmaster, Dumbledore himself, who explains that he has actually borrowed this copy of the book from the Hogwarts library to copy and distribute to muggles around the world. Much to the behest of Madam Pince, of course, who really does not like any of her books leaving her library ever. Which isn’t quite what a librarian is supposed to do. But never mind.

Michael: Yet oddly enough, if you get into the librarian profession, you would be surprised at how many librarians you meet who would love to have a library that is set up like a library with many books, but they just want it for themselves. And they would rather not see people coming in to their library. [laughs]

Rosie: Do not disturb the precious books! Let them sleep.

Michael: It’s fun to have Madam Pince fleshed out as a character in this book. She gets her moment.

Rosie: Yeah, it’s really nice to see her interaction with Dumbledore here as well. It describes her as rendered temporarily speechless when he says that he’s going to give it to Muggles. Which is just… you get that perfect little scene of the two of them trying to talk to each other and Dumbledore just not reading any social cues.

[Michael laughs]

Lyle: I have a question. So it says that he talks about her and how it’s the most popular book in the library. So did they not actually write a forward for it? Instead it’s just like him writing in the beginning of the book before he gave it to the Muggles to publish then, I guess?

Rosie: It does seem like this is the new edition, so the forward and the additional things that have been added to the original text in this new Muggle printing.

Lyle: Okay. That makes sense.

Rosie: That’s how I’m taking this extract. But it does seem a little bit confusing in itself…

Lyle: Because it still has the writing of the students in the front like it was their book, yet it’s a new edition that hasn’t been published yet.

Rosie: Yeah.

Michael: But that’s definitely worth noting because [in] Fantastic Beasts, Dumbledore sites that Newt asked him to write the forward…

Rosie: Yeah.

Michael: So, that forward… well, at least it would seem that forward was updated for Muggle publication because Dumbledore mentions that. But that book did have a forward by Dumbledore, it would seem, before it was published for Muggles.

Rosie: And yet it also has Harry’s and the rest of their doodles…

Michael: Doodles… mhm.

Rosie: … and annotations, and so there’s a few odd little quirks.

Lyle: At the same time, it’s taken as humor in that situation, so it’s like…

Michael and Rosie: Yeah.

Rosie: And especially in the situation of Comic Relief…

Michael: Mhm.

Rosie: … which Dumbledore actually gives a lovely little description of in this introduction, in this forward. He explains that Comic Relief helps to fight poverty, injustice, and disaster, and that it’s about spreading widespread amusement around the world, raising large quantities of money – over 250 million dollars since they started in 1985. And we get a lovely little equivalent in Galleons, which is 34 million Galleons.

Lyle: Mine says different. I guess it’s because it’s the new amount.

Rosie: Really?

Lyle: Yeah, it says, “large quantities of money – over 1 billion dollars – since they started in 1985.” And then “almost 200 million Galleons” is what it says…

Kat: Wow.

Lyle: Maybe it’s just the updated number since this is published [later].

Kat: Probably.

Rosie: Yeah. I mean, it gains every single year…

Michael: What does mine say?

Rosie: … so it’s bound to be over a billion by now.

Kat: That’s brilliant.

Lyle: That’s crazy.

Michael: Mine says “800 million pounds since 1985 (158,001,035 Galleons, 8 Sickles, and 2 Knuts).”

[Kat laughs]

Lyle: So yours must be the English version because mine says dollars. That’s interesting. Cool.

Kat: No, mine says all three. It says “over 250 million dollars”…

Rosie: Yeah, dollars, pounds, and Galleons.

[Michael laughs]

Kat: … “which is the equivalent of over 174 million pounds, or 34 million Galleons.”

[Michael laughs]

Lyle: Wow! They have all sorts of editions of this book. [laughs]

Kat: Yeah. It’s kind of nice that we have so many covered though, because we’re actually not going to miss anything…

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: … which is wonderful.

[Lyle laughs]

Rosie: It’s interesting that they do update it so often as well…

Lyle: Yeah, that’s surprising.

Rosie: … that they are still adjusting that figure with new…

Kat: Which is good, [because] there’s one person whose sole job is to remember to update that whenever they republish it.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: You know that, you know that that’s somebody’s job.

Rosie: I want that job. That would be fun.

Lyle: It’s like, “listen, you just remember to put the right number in when republishing it, okay?”

Rosie: It says that they have managed to set up a fund in Harry Potter’s name – by Comic Relief and J.K. Rowling – so it’s really nice to see that kind of duality and that kind of feature of the worlds joining together has been created and legitimized this book. We’ve also got that mention of the Thief’s Curse again – as we did with Fantastic Beasts – that if you steal this you will find yourself object of the Thief’s Curse. Just… yeah, don’t steal charity books, guys.

[Michael laughs]

Kat: Well, actually it’s about just reading – well, I guess it’s technically reading – without buying it.

Michael: Yes.

Rosie: Yes, if you read it for too long without handing the money over.

Michael: I think that’s funny.

Rosie: But again, it’s a charity book. Go and buy it!

Michael: All those poor souls who checked it out from the library and got beat over the head with this book…

[Lyle and Rosie laugh]

Kat: Well, they weren’t checking out the Muggle version, so hopefully…

Michael: Oh no, I mean Muggles who went into their libraries and…

Kat: Oh, oh, oh!

Michael: … checked this out. [laughs]

Kat: Right. Yes. Right.

Rosie: As you guys said the other week, I’m sure it would be acceptable to take it out of the library.

Michael: I hope so, I hope so.

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: It says that, “Though I have removed the usual library book spells from this volume, I cannot promise that every trace is gone.” So there you go. You’ve got some elements of library books being referenced. “Madam Pence has been known to add unusual jinxes to the books in her care,” so…

Michael: Beware.

Rosie: Again, not a librarian you want to cross.

Michael: No.

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: And a little bit more about Comic Relief again at the end, begging Muggles not to try playing Quidditch at home: “It is, of course, an entirely fictional sport and nobody really plays it.” Oh, Jo, how little you knew. [laughs]

Lyle: I know!

Rosie: Since then, in however many years, I wonder if that bit has been updated at all since it is now actually a sport.

Kat: Oh, yeah! Lyle, what’s yours say?

Lyle: Still says the same thing. It says that it’s not a real sport.

Kat: Boo!

Lyle: Unfortunately… I know! She needs to keep up. [laughs]

Michael: Mine still says that too. But hey, it was written by Dumbledore. He’s dead now – he didn’t know any better.

[Everyone laughs]

Lyle: Oh, that’s a good point.

Kat: Exactly.

Rosie: He had no knowledge to update.

Lyle: Then how did he update the amount of money? I don’t get it. [laughs]

Rosie: Maybe there’s some kind of spell…

Lyle: Okay, yeah, there you go.

Rosie: … that magically updates it every time more money [unintelligible]

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Very nice.

Michael: There’s a tracking spell for that.

Rosie: Exactly.

Kat: Perfect.

Lyle: I love how it says, “This is a fake sport,” and then it’s like, “And with this opportunity I’d like to wish Puddlemere United the best of luck next season.”

Rosie: Yeah.

Lyle: It’s like, “It’s fake, but good luck.”

Michael: It’s cute.

[Kat and Lyle laugh]

Michael: Yeah, as Rosie said earlier, these books are the first two examples where the canon of Harry Potter attempts to fully, completely, bring it into the real world and say, “Yes, this is a thing that’s running parallel to your world.”

Kat: Mhm.

Rosie: Yeah.

Michael: They full-on crashed with each other in Tales of Beedle the Bard, as we discussed, by acknowledging the Harry Potter books are actually biographies…

Rosie: Yeah.

Michael: But the hints of that are definitely here to start. I guess this also marks the first tangle with canon because the books were released in 2001, but Dumbledore died in 1997. So, unless these books were published posthumously under his orders…

Kat: Right.

Rosie: Very true.

Michael: … that creates a conflict.

[Kat sighs]

Rosie: We can let that slide; that’s just one of those…

Michael: Let it slide. We’ll let it slide because we got good books out of it, right?

[Lyle laughs]

Rosie: Yeah, exactly.

Michael: [laughs] That was the part of Dumbledore’s will that Scrimgeour didn’t read out loud.

Kat: Right, right. [laughs]

Rosie: Maybe it just took four years to go through Muggle publishing. Sometimes that happens.

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: There we go. But something that took a lot longer than four years: the evolution of the flying broomstick, which is covered in Chapter One of Quidditch Through the Ages. It’s kind of fun to hear about this – not terribly a lot is covered in this chapter. Probably the most important thing is that Whisp notes on page [one] that, “No spell yet devised enables wizards to fly unaided in human form.” Oh, ho, ho, ho, ho…

Kat: Ehh!

Rosie: Oh, ho, ho!

Michael: Mr. Whisp, obviously somebody hasn’t been speaking with Voldemort recently.

Rosie: Or his servant Snape.

Michael: Or Snape. Yeah, I thought that was interesting because I feel like the shock of Voldemort flying is compounded by this. Because this fact isn’t really straightforward said in the series, is it? There isn’t a point where somebody’s like, [in British accent] “No, you can’t fly without a broom.”

Lyle: No, not that I remember.

Kat: Um…

Rosie: I can’t remember. I guess though if it says it anywhere, it would be in that first Quidditch flying lesson, but I’m sure it doesn’t…

Kat: No, no… vaguely, it’s ringing some bell during “The Seven Potters”…

Michael: That’s what I was…

Kat: Because they’re talking about Snape flying without a broomstick and somebody says something… oh, I have to look it up. Just go on.

Michael: But that’s kind of my point, though. That wasn’t really brought up until Book 7 as a straightforward point.

Kat: Right.

Rosie: Yeah.

Michael: But we’re getting it here.

Rosie: So at this point in the narrative, Jo hasn’t created that yet.

Michael: Mhm.

Lyle: Well, that’s true. I mean, she might not have thought to write that in until after she wrote this book because this was during the fourth [book], right? Right after the fourth [book] came out?

[Everyone agrees]

Michael: Yeah, it was right after Book 4. But she also notes – or Whisp notes, rather – this isn’t Rowling; this is Whisp – a lot about wizards’ desires for flight. And interestingly, it’s not too terribly different from reading about the Wright Brothers, the way that Whisp talks about it. It kind of mirrors our own desire to fly in many ways.

Kat: Mmm…

Lyle: Did you notice that one of the inventors… I think their last name was Wright? Literally.

Michael: Yeah, Bowman. Yeah, the guy who invented the Snitch.

Lyle: Oh, right, right. Okay. Yeah, I noticed that somewhere in there. I knew there was someone who invented something flying that had the last name of Wright. I was like, “Wow, that’s interesting.”

Michael: Yeah. So maybe that’s where she got that inspiration for that particular one from.

Rosie: A nice little nod to the Wright brothers, then.

Michael: Yeah. The other fun thing that gets mentioned here, something that really, when I reread it… I must have glossed over this many times, and it’s mentioned a few times in the book. But when I read it this time, I was like, “Oh my God, I wish this actually existed!” There is… London has a Museum of Quidditch! [laughs] Somewhere.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Yeah. I want that. Really bad, actually.

Michael: Where is it, Rosie? Tell us. Tell us the location.

[Lyle and Michael laugh]

Rosie: I can’t give up wizarding secrets; I’m sorry.

[Lyle and Michael laugh]

Michael: Rosie, [are] there any major sports museums in London? Because I feel like wizards have a penchant for connecting their stuff to the relatable areas in the Muggle world.

Rosie: [laughs] I’m sure there are. I’m not a particularly sporty person…

[Michael laughs]

Rosie: … so I haven’t looked up a sport museum in London, but I will have a look now.

[Kat laughs]

Lyle: What is the biggest sport in London? In England area. Because I feel like… I don’t know much about that.

Rosie: Probably football, so…

Lyle: Football? Okay, yeah.

Lyle and Rosie: Soccer.

Lyle: Right, right. [laughs] That’s true, that’s true.

Rosie: But cricket and rugby are also massive sports in the UK…

Lyle: Right, right.

Rosie: … so there [are] major stadiums for cricket, tennis, football, and rugby, all in London, so I would assume that there would be a sport museum as well. They’re probably connected with those particular grounds.

Michael: Ooh, there [are] a lot of sports museums, it looks like. Just searching it, there seem to be a lot of… Rowing Museum, Cricket Club Museum…

Rosie: Yeah, they’ll all be associated with a particular sports ground, or sport. Generally.

Michael: … British Sports Museum…

Kat: That sounds like the one.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: I mean, that sounds very general, so it sounds like that’s where it is. “London’s Museum of Quidditch” does seem very generalized, too.

Rosie: It’s probably going to be somewhere around Twickenham, I would say, somewhere near the rugby… because that’s [the place with] the big stadiums with the tall poles and things that could easily be turning into Quidditch.

[Michael laughs]

Kat: But wouldn’t they want it in a city, where people could walk to it and be around all the time?

Rosie: Twickenham is in the city; it’s where the main rugby place is… London is huge, guys.

[Everyone laughs]

Rosie: Everything in London is in the city.

Lyle: Well, see, the problem is, all I think about is the train station and then Diagon Alley, so…

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: I guess I meant not the city; I guess I meant Central. Wouldn’t you want a museum down in Central, near all the other…?

Rosie: Well, equally, they are wizards; they don’t need to walk places. [laughs]

Michael: Mhm.

Kat: True, I suppose. That’s true. True, true.

Rosie: Most of the sport museums are with associated grounds, so they’re not in Central for our sports. I don’t know whether wizards would be the same. Possibly, possibly not.

Michael: Mhm. And we will find out throughout the book that there are a lot of ancient documents, as well as the “original broom” that are kept in the Museum of Quidditch in London. I can’t imagine what other amazing exhibits would be in a museum like that, but just the thought is very tantalizing.

Rosie: They discuss things like the German illuminated manuscript of 19 – sorry – 962 AD, which shows witches and wizards in Europe using flying broomsticks, which is really nice because I’m sure there were actually illuminated manuscripts in the Muggle world that had some pictures of witchcraft and that kind of thing in them. I know that there are medieval versions of images of burning witches and that kind of thing.

Michael: Mhm.

Rosie: So it’s a nice, again, blurring of the lines between the Muggle world and the wizarding…

Kat: Can you educate me as to what an illuminated manuscript is?

Michael: Oh, they’re beautiful.

Rosie: I can indeed. They are gorgeous. They are… So ancient handwritten books and texts, rather than illustrated… Illustrated is just where you’ve got just general pen and ink pictures. Illuminated is where they are using gold leaf to decorate the page, so it’s literally illuminated; the light reflects off the gold.

Kat and Michael: Mmm.

Rosie: So most people think of general illustrated manuscripts as illuminated, but that’s not technically correct; illuminated has to have the actual gold leaf on the page.

Michael: It was an art that was practiced by monks, wasn’t it?

Rosie: Yes. So the monks were the ones that… Up to the end of the Medieval Period, they were the only ones that would be able to write. So they would create religious texts, and they would create, well, basically any books that were available in the world at the time, and they were the scribes. They would write down the different things, but illuminated manuscripts were generally preserved for religious texts and examples of the richest texts, so the kings’ and the queens’ and the richest nobles would commission the monks to make these texts for them; generally Bibles or books of prayer, all those kinds of things. But their illustrations, some of them had family motifs and things; so there is a gorgeous manuscript which is full of hares and greyhounds fighting each other, jousting each other and things, in the margins. And there are monkeys and doctors who are presented as monkeys holding scientific equipment…

[Michael laughs]

Rosie: … and then throwing urine at each other.

Kat: Cute.

[Everyone laughs]

Rosie: They may sound like glorious, illuminated gold leaf things, but there is a lot of humor in them as well. They are wonderful things. Monks got bored occasionally and decided to create some interesting images.

[Michael laughs]

Kat: That’s brilliant.

Michael: I know we have Jim Kay illustrating the Harry Potter books currently, but if somebody out there ever wants to do an illuminated manuscript version of Harry Potter, that would blow my mind.

Rosie: [laughs] That would be amazing, and I would spend all of my money on it.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: You must put urine-throwing monkeys in the margins, though.

[Michael laughs]

Rosie: You must, yes.

Michael: As an Easter egg in there somewhere.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Absolutely.

Michael: Well, and before we move off from the evolution of the broomstick, Rosie, you had done just a tad bit of research on the Muggle history of associating witches with broomsticks.

Rosie: Just a very tiny amount, and it hilariously slightly connects with the urine-throwing monkeys.

Kat: Okay…

[Everyone laughs]

Rosie: Insofar as the image of a witch with a broomstick dates back to, really, the very earliest recorded witchcraft in the UK, and it’s actually a lady called Alice Kyteler, who was Ireland’s earliest known accused witch, condemned to death for using sorcery to kill her husband in 1324. She escaped, but her maid was actually then burned at the stake in her stead.

Michael: Oh!

Rosie: Yeah, not a particularly happy tale.

Michael: Goodness.

Rosie: But one of the things that accused her – one of the things that they used as evidence against her – was that they were rifling through the closet of the lady and “they found a pipe of ointment, wherewith she greased a staff, upon which she ambled and galloped through thick and thin.” And it was actually a tincture of henbane, which is a hallucinogen; it’s a powerful drug that creates psychoactive properties…

Michael: Oho.

Rosie: … the magic mushrooms of their day, perhaps. That would become an ointment that you would apply using a stick to your nether regions.

[Michael laughs]

Rosie: And so she supposedly had used this ointment on herself and had been wandering around with a stick between her legs…

[Kat laughs]

Rosie: … and that was the image of the broomstick being created as a witch riding…

Kat: Man, thank God Noah is not on this episode.

Michael: Oh my…

[Everyone laughs]

Rosie: I know. So many things he would say. Moving swiftly on… [laughs]

Michael: Well, and the little I know about it actually comes… Once again, I will reference Lindsay Ellis, the Nostalgia Chick. She did a fantastic examination of the iterations throughout film of the Wicked Witch of the West…

Kat: Mm.

Michael: … and to do that, she started by examining witches and broomsticks because that’s a key point of The Wizard of Oz and the Wicked Witch of the West, is her relationship with her broomstick. And what Lindsay said in her video is that there is a lot of mixed research and history about where this origin of the witch and the broomstick came from, but she put it in general terms [that] the times where this came out were the times where… the idea that, “Oh, silly woman! You should be using that broom to sweep the floor, not fly on!” And that’s the idea of women trying to escape the very limited confines of their time…

Rosie: Yeah.

Michael: … represented by subverting one of the objects that was most associated with them and keeping house.

Kat: Early feminism?

Michael: Yeah, yeah.

[Kat laughs]

Rosie: Exactly.

Michael: So don’t you dare put that broom between your legs! [laughs] Use it to sweep the floor. Kind of the idea where the witch may have come from, as far as the brooms, and that’s hinted at by Rowling in saying that the broomstick is a domestic object and therefore it was easy to hide its capabilities from Muggles. But she kind of ended up doing her own origin of the broomstick for witches and wizards that didn’t necessarily match up with that. In the case of Rosie’s story, thank goodness.

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Kat: Yeah.

Rosie: I couldn’t imagine her trying to improve that.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: So I guess we’ll move on to Chapter 2, which is actually another way that brooms were used in the ancient times, which is in games.

Michael: Yeah!

Kat: I mean, Quidditch had to start somewhere, and all of these games are the precursors to Quidditch. They didn’t necessarily all bring anything to Quidditch, but they were around beforehand. Some are around still. So we’ll just go through them. We’ll go by country here, so the first one we have up is Sweden here, and they have what they call the Annual Broom Race. It’s quite as simple as that. It’s about 300 miles long, which, for the record, we did some research ahead of time. So the Firebolt goes around 150 miles an hour, and that is, I don’t know, what, 700 years after this? So imagine how long that race was. That was a long race.

Michael: Yeah.

Kat: That’s a long time to sit on a broom, especially if it gives you splinter-filled buttocks and bulging piles.

[Michael laughs]

Rosie: Well, I guess it’s the equivalent of a marathon, isn’t it?

Lyle: And it says everybody went, and when they go there they would Apparate to the end. So I guess they just Apparated home and then waited for, what, a couple weeks or something? And then Apparated to the end.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Maybe. Yeah, because the contestants actually flew through a dragon reservation at some point, too. So the people who were watching the event would congregate in…

Rosie: Kopparberg.

Kat: Kopparberg?

Rosie: Yeah, Kopparberg.

Kat: Okay. They would start in Kopparberg to cheer on the people who were starting, and then Apparate to…

Rosie: Arjeplog.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Arjeplog, thank you, to congratulate the people who survived making it through the dragon reservation. And it’s an international event, so there [are] wizards from quite literally all over the place, which I think is kind of fun.

Michael: Still happening to this day, according to the book.

Kat: Yep.

Lyle: Wait, I have a question.

Rosie: Arjeplog is a real place. It’s in Lapland.

Kat: Wow.

Lyle: So why…? It says that they were originally made for transportation, but if they could Apparate back then, what exactly…?

[Michael laughs]

Lyle: Was it for the people who couldn’t Apparate?

Kat: Well, because you can’t Apparate over long distances.

Lyle: Oh yeah, I totally forgot that little note.

Kat: Well, you can. But it’s very difficult.

Lyle: That is true.

Michael: Well, because we do know now with Pottermore and the revelations of discovering the New World, that that was done by broom because they couldn’t Apparate over to the Americas at that point.

Kat and Lyle: Right.

Lyle: Makes total sense.

Michael: So yeah, it kind of works.

[Lyle and Michael laugh]

Kat: So a close neighbor to Sweden – well, kind of a close neighbor – Germany had a game called Stitchstock, which is quite interesting. It is all about protecting a dragon bladder.

Michael: Bleh.

Kat: So basically, there’s a 20-foot pole that’s topped with an inflated dragon bladder, and there’s a player whose broomstick is… they’re tied to that pole via a ten-foot rope; that way they can’t go outside of that radius. And the players’ job is to try and poke that dragon bladder with the end of their broomstick. However – and I think this is super, super unfair – the bladder guardian can use their wand to repel them.

[Michael laughs]

Kat: That is such BS in my mind. I would be so mad. I feel like that’s a very unfair advantage, personally.

[Rosie laughs]

Lyle: But not if there [are] tons of players who are going after it.

Kat: But I think they go at it one at a time.

Lyle: Oh. That could do it.

Kat: From what I’m understanding.

Michael: This is kind of like a capture the flag game.

Kat: Yeah. Pretty much.

Michael: It would be the equivalent, I guess. And I feel like the concept of the Keeper in Quidditch might have been derived from Stitchstock.

Lyle: It reminds me of the game where you have the pole and the ball is on a string and you hit it around it. What’s that called? It reminds me of that, but in reverse where you’re attached to the pole.

Michael: Oh. Isn’t…? Tetherball.

Kat: Tetherball, that’s it. Yeah.

Lyle: Yeah, tetherball. It’s like reverse tetherball, sort of.

Michael: [laughs] The person is the ball.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Right.

Michael: Yeah. It’s funny because this is the first of many mentions of animal bladders being used for games…

Kat: Yeah.

Michael: … and it makes me think of… I had asked Rosie if she knew any sports that use bladders because it makes me think of Monty Python and the Holy Grail

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Michael: … when they’re on their way to Camelot and Arthur is asking Sir Bedevere, [as Arthur] ” Explain the game where sheep’s bladders are used…” [back to normal voice] and I was like, “Oh, was that a thing? Were bladders a popular use for a ball in sports back then?”

Lyle: Well, I wonder what other balls they had.

Kat: Well, they are because they’re round and they hold stuff.

Michael: Ugh.

Lyle: How big do you think a dragon bladder is?

Michael: Oh my God.

Kat: I think it depends on the breed of dragon.

Lyle: That’s a good point.

Kat: There’s an answer for you. [laughs]

Lyle: Ugh. That would make it a whole lot harder for the person trying to stop the people around it, if it was giant because…

Kat: It would, yeah. And the only way to actually win that game… So the bladder guardian was allowed, like I said, to use their wand. So the game ended when the bladder was either punctured successfully, or the guardian had either succeeded in hexing all of the opponents out of the running or if they had collapsed from exhaustion. That does not sound like a very fun game.

[Lyle and Michael laugh]

Lyle: Wizarding games tend to have terrible endings, like really hard to end games.

Kat: Yeah, they do.

Lyle: [In Quidditch] you have to catch the Snitch to end it. In this, you have to either fall off your broom or stop everybody. [laughs]

Kat: Right. Well, thankfully that game died out in the 14th century so we don’t have to worry about that one ever again.

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: Well, and when you think about it, it kind of… as insane as it sounds – and I know there are insane equivalents to medieval games – you have to consider that these people didn’t have much to entertain them. And a nice, long, almost impossible game was probably a major highlight of the day.

Lyle: That is a good point. [laughs]

Michael: It’s not like they could just pop home and turn on their MP3s and listen to music.

Lyle: They had do find something to do with their lives.

Kat: They had lutes and fires and stuff.

[Lyle and Michael laugh]

Lyle: You’re like, “They did not need to puncture dragon bladders for fun, okay?”

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Also, that is messy.

Michael: Yeah, that’s gross.

Kat: I mean, what did they put inside the bladder?

Lyle: No, no, no. They blow them up. That’s how you make a pig ball. You blow it up.

Kat: Gross.

Lyle: You clean it out and then you tie it after you blow it up. So it’s just air inside.

Michael: Oh. That’s nasty.

Kat: That’s disgusting.

Lyle: Well, it’s better than the alternative inside of it. [laughs]

Michael: Yes.

[Lyle and Michael laugh]

Kat: I suppose. Poor Kennilworthy.

Michael: Why is this show so full of urine? How is that…?

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: Oh, J.K. Rowling.

Rosie: Oops. [laughs]

Kat: So the next one here is an Irish game. Rosie, this is all you, darling.

Rosie: Yeah, I’m looking up some Irish pronunciations now [to] see if I can work it out.

Kat: [laughs] Okay, good. Because it’s probably something like… Irish names are not the way they actually look, so…

Rosie: So I think it would be Aingingein. [pronounces as “eyen-ghin-gayn”]

Lyle and Michael: Aingingein.

Rosie: So it’s fairly like it is. Aingingein?

Michael: Aingingein.

Rosie: Aingingein? [pronounces as “ayn-ghin-gayn” ] Don’t know.

Michael: Aingingein [pronounces as “eyen-ghin-gayn”] sounds pretty. The Irish language always sounds pretty when they say it. So we’ll go with that.

Rosie: It sounds a lot prettier when it’s said by an actual Irish person.

Michael: Yes, it does. [laughs]

Kat: We’re all in agreement that that’s how it’s pronounced, so I’m not even going to tell you.

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Kat: Okay, so in that game, you’re racing through fiery barrels to toss a goat’s bladder into the final barrel. So basically it’s a game of daredevil, pretty much, with an inflated goat’s bladder, which… I don’t know.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: It doesn’t sound very fun.

Michael: Well, this also seems to introduce the concept of the hoops for Quidditch.

Lyle: Yep.

Kat: Yes, indeed it does.

Michael: Yeah, except you’re flying through them and they’re on fire, which is definitely the one thing that Quidditch is missing: hoops on fire.

[Everyone laughs]

Lyle: That could make an interesting game of Quidditch, though. I mean… [laughs]

Michael: Yeah, I feel like that would be Extreme Quidditch or Ultimate Quidditch. Just set the hoops on fire.

[Lyle laughs]

Kat: Right. And it’s actually named… I believe it says that it’s named after the legendary wizard Fingal the Fearless, who is alleged to have been a – that word – champion.

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: Good for him.

Lyle: How big are these barrels? Because how hard would it really be to not get set on fire the whole time?

Michael: Well, I’m imagining… the traditional image you see of a barrel is that a person can kind of just fit inside it.

Lyle: Yeah, so it’s just kind of stretched out.

Michael: Well, I think the idea would be that it probably would be pretty dangerous, especially because wizards wear robes and cloaks…

Lyle: Right, right.

Kat: Oh. Yikes.

Michael: … so you’re probably going to catch fire.

[Lyle laughs]

Michael: If you don’t catch fire, you’re a master at this game.

Lyle: [laughs] Once again, it’s the daredevil game.

Kat: If you don’t go fast enough. Right, right. So the next game here is from Ireland’s eastern neighbor there, Scotland. And it was the birthplace of what is being called probably the most dangerous of all broom games, which… Creaothceann? [pronounces as ” cree-oth-see-an”]

Rosie: “Kay-an,” I think. Creaothceann. [pronounces as “cray-oth-kay-an”]

Michael: Creaothceann? [pronounces as “cray-oth-kay-an”]

Kat: What? Say that again?

Rosie: Creaothceann. [pronounces as “cray-oth-kay-an”]

Kat: Creaothceann? [pronounces as “cray-oth-kay-an”]

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: Creaothceann. Okay.

Michael: Bless you.

Kat: [laughs] Yeah, right. Thank you.

[Kat and Michael laugh]

Kat: So, this game’s actually really interesting and I found this very exciting – I don’t know, maybe that’s weird – but players strap cauldrons to their heads and they have to catch enchanted falling rocks…

[Michael laughs]

Kat: … as many as possible in the cauldron in their heads, basically without killing themselves.

Lyle: This reminds me of those video games where you just move the person back and forth, trying to catch stuff.

Kat, Michael, and Rosie: Yeah.

Lyle: I don’t know if you’ve ever played one of those, but… [laughs]

Kat: Kind of like Pong – Ping!

Michael: Weird equivalent: Hungry Hungry Hippos.

Kat: [gasps] Yeah!

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: That’s a perfect equivalent.

[Michael laughs]

Kat: That’s… I loved that game.

Rosie: But much more dangerous.

Kat: See…

Michael: [laughs] Much more. Well, if Hungry Hungry Hippos was a real game, it would be pretty dangerous.

[Lyle laughs]

Kat: It would.

Rosie: You can play Hungry Hungry Hippos as a real game if you get spinning chairs…

Lyle: Oh, I’ve seen this.

Rosie: … take off the backs, and you could be on the spinning chair as a hippo.

[Michael laughs]

Rosie: And then you get a bin and tennis balls, and you have to try and capture as many tennis balls in your bin as possible as you’re being pushed back and forward by another player.

Lyle: Yeah, I’ve seen a YouTube about this. They had little carts on the floor, and they would have one person behind you, and they pull on a rope to pull you back. [laughs]

Rosie: Yeah.

Lyle: Yeah, that was…

Rosie: Amazing.

Lyle: Looks so fun. [laughs]

Michael: So you too can play Creaothceann. It could become a real thing.

Kat: Okay.

[Kat and Michael laugh]

Kat: Well, this game you can no longer play because it was banned in 1762.

[Lyle laughs]

Kat: They even tried to… I forget… Who was the guy’s name?

Lyle: Who was trying to bring it back?

Kat: Magnus “Dent-Head” Macdonald tried to bring it back in the 1960s, but the Ministry of Magic absolutely refused to lift the ban. Which I think is fitting, considering his nickname is “Dent-Head.”

[Lyle laughs]

Michael: Yes. So never mind, you can’t play Creaothceann.

Lyle: Who’s that?

Michael: That won’t be happening.

[Lyle laughs]

Kat: And finally, here too, the two shortest little summaries here are from English games. And the first one is called Shuntbumps, which… I mean, what is with these names?

[Michael laughs]

Kat: [That] is my next question. Who…?

Rosie: Well, Shuntbumps is just descriptive. A shunt is when you are hitting something, and bumping is when you are hitting something…

Lyle: Oh, there we go.

Rosie: So, it really just describes what it’s doing.

Kat: Oh, lovely… which is a crude form of jousting. And the aim obviously as we know is to knock the other player off their broom as soon as possible. So, basically they could just call it jousting, but that’s fine.

Michael: That kind of seems like the most logical game to me to develop out of broomstick games.

Lyle: Yeah.

Rosie: Yeah, when we’ve got things like bumper cars…

Michael: Yeah.

Rosie: … that’s just the equivalent on brooms, isn’t it?

Michael: Mhm.

Kat: Right. And children still play that [game] today. It remains popular with wizarding children. So, if you happen to come across some wizards in your travels and you see them jousting, they’re playing Shuntbumps.

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Lyle: I feel like that’s not… I feel like they probably don’t call it that. It’s just something two kids on brooms would do, just try to knock each other off. It’s just a game that’s a quick thing they just do.

Rosie: Yeah.

Michael: [laughs] Kids don’t go out in the backyard and go: [in high voice] “Let’s play Shuntbumps.”

[Kat laughs]

Lyle: They just start knocking each other off the brooms.

[Lyle and Michael laugh]

Kat: But I want them to because that was the cutest thing I’ve ever heard.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: The last game here is called Swivenhodge and it began in… you know, it’s funny. I’m from Massachusetts and can say a lot of British words…

[Michael laughs]

Kat: But what…? Say that for me.

Rosie: Herefordshire.

Michael: Herefordshire.

Kat: See? That’s not how… Herefordshire?

Rosie: Herefordshire.

Kat: Okay. So, Swivenhodge began in Herefordshire. And very much like Stitchstock, it involves an inflated bladder, usually a pig – big surprise.

[Michael laughs]

Kat: And players sit backwards on their brooms, batting the bladder back and forth over a hedge.

Lyle: So it’s like volleyball…

Kat: And the first person to miss gives their opponent a point, and the first person to fifty points is the winner. And yes, it sounds exactly like volleyball, but…

Lyle: Far worse.

Kat: … far more disgusting because you’re playing with a bladder.

[Lyle laughs]

Michael: Yeah, I kind of thought it was…

Lyle: Back then they didn’t have balls. Give them some credit. [laughs]

Rosie: It’s the equivalent… yeah. It’s just exactly what volleyball would be now. If you’re playing it with a football, or with any kind of ball that is an inflatable ball, the equivalent would have been some kind of bladder or a liver or… probably not a liver…

Kat: Eww!

Rosie: … but some kind of inflatable skin of some kind.

Kat: Right.

Lyle: So I guess the reason they had the different animals specific to the different sports was for the size of the ball…

Kat: Yeah.

Rosie: Yes.

Lyle: Because they do specify different… I guess that’s the size.

Kat: Right. Pig, dragon and what? Sheep was the other one, I think?

Michael: Goat.

Rosie: They had a goat at some point.

Lyle: Yeah, yeah.

Kat: A goat, right. That’s right. So, Swivenhodge is still played in England, although as we know, it never quite achieved the widespread popularity as one very particular game that started out in Queerditch Marsh. Hmm…

Michael: Oh, what could it be?

Kat: I have no idea.

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Kat: Educate us, Michael. [laughs]

Michael: Well, it’s definitely Quadpot, the worst game ever invented.

[Rosie laughs]

Michael: But you’re not going to get to hear about that until the next episode. [laughs] This is the game from Queerditch Marsh, the root of Quidditch. And we have to thank, for our knowledge of the roots of Quidditch, a Miss Gertie Keddle who was the bemused recorder of the origins of Quidditch – the reluctant recorder of the origins of Quidditch – who observed a group of players on the marsh when she’d go out there to pick nettles who were always… She watched them with much disdain and watched them slowly develop Quidditch and was very disappointed to later find out that her best friend, Gwenog, also played Quidditch and kind of broke off their friendship based on that.

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Michael: Also, hilariously, it would appear that Gertie Keddle only knew Tuesday as the only day of the week.

[Lyle and Michael laugh]

Kat: Maybe she only wrote on Tuesdays.

Lyle: She only writes her diary on Tuesdays.

Kat: I was going to say…

Lyle: Yeah.

Michael: She only writes on Tuesdays.

Kat: Maybe.

Lyle: And they’re always playing Quidditch on Tuesdays. That’s just… Maybe she only vents in her diary, and that’s the only day they play Quidditch. [laughs]

Kat: Right. Or maybe she works away from home six days a week and she’s only home on Tuesdays.

Lyle: She’s like, “I’m going to write about those dang Quidditch players.”

Michael: [laughs] Well… and this is all taking place in the 11th century, so no, she probably doesn’t work far from home.

Kat: If at all, really.

Michael: If at all.

Lyle: That’s true. [laughs]

Michael: [laughs] And Rosie, I was curious if you might have any idea where Queerditch might be. The only information we get about Gertie is that Queerditch is on a marsh, it’s the 11th century, and she wrote in Saxon.

Rosie: Yeah.

Michael: Does that indicate at all where she might be?

Rosie: Not really. There’s… at one point it says that Queerditch has been made unplottable, and that there’s Muggle repelling Charms and that kind of thing on it. So, it’s definitively not described as in any particular area. There was some research done by – I can’t remember which website I was looking at earlier, unfortunately – but one of the fan sites at one point was trying to discover where Queerditch would have been. And I think they determined that it was going to be somewhere around Dartmoor in the Devon area, which would kind of work with the history of some of these other games and how it came to be… and the marshy, tree-lined area that they described. So yeah, probably somewhere around Dartmoor in Devon.

Michael: Okay. I wasn’t quite sure because, interestingly, you can actually… listeners, if you own Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup, you can take a look at a portrayal of Queerditch Marsh. Because if you unlock all the correct achievements, you can play matches at Queerditch Marsh with the Hogwarts teams.

Lyle: Oh, that’s awesome. [laughs]

Michael: Yeah, which is pretty cool. I didn’t realize that until quite a bit later into owning the game, and I had accidentally done all of the achievements required. And then, suddenly…

[Rosie laughs]

Lyle: I never got that far, and I don’t have the game anymore. [laughs]

Michael: Yeah, it was a bit of a shock because Queerditch just appeared on the main menu and I was like, “What is this? Oh my God, you can play on Queerditch Marsh!”

[Lyle laughs]

Kat: Is there any way to play that? What consoles is that game on?

Lyle: Computer… PC.

Michael: Well, yeah. It’s available for PC and Playstation 2, and it still works on Windows 7. So you can still play it if you have the PC edition, or if you have a Playstation 2…

Lyle: [laughs] I’m sure you’ll have to dig deep on eBay to find one, though.

Kat: I don’t have a PC, so…

Michael: If you do go to a lot of smaller game retailers that sell older games, Quidditch World Cup pops up a lot.

Lyle: Really? I haven’t seen it for ages.

Michael: Yeah. Not so much the PC version, but the PS2 version you can find pretty easily. So yes, you can get this game.

Kat: Can I play that on my PS4? Does that work backwards like that?

Michael: No. [laughs]

Lyle: Not that far back, I would think. [laughs]

Michael: [laughs] No, you wouldn’t be able… I don’t think you would be able. You can certainly try.

Kat: That’s sad. Come on, whoever made that game. Update it.

Michael: [laughs] I would love to see Quidditch World Cup remade with current graphics because…

Lyle: Oh, that would be amazing.

Rosie: Yeah.

Michael: … it’s such an exciting game to play. If you’ve got a good speaker system too, it’s pretty amazing.

Kat: Hear that, TT Games? Come on.

Michael: Make it happen. [laughs]

Kat: Our friends, that’s right.

Rosie: But thanks to our Patreon sponsors, perhaps we’ll be seeing that game being played sometime soon.

Michael: Yeah, yeah, awesome.

[Rosie laughs]

Michael: At the time, the earliest form of Quidditch at Queerditch Marsh… it would seem the most direct inspiration they took from the previous games was from the Scotland game. The… Rosie, say it again. Creaothceann? Is that it?

Rosie: Creaothceann. Yeah.

Michael: Creaothcean. Because of the falling boulders and rocks, those seem to have been translated into the Bludgers because, as Gertie noted, there was a brutish Scottish player on the team.

[Rosie laughs]

Michael: So from that, Whisp determines that that’s probably where the creation of the Bludgers came from. The Quaffle was the earliest element of the game, not terribly different from its modern use and form. Trees were used as the goals because they didn’t have goal hoops. But 100 years later on is when we get some more information about Quidditch; it’s now being called “Kwidditch” but with a “K.” Not a “Q.” K-W-I-D-D-I-T-C-H. Elevated barrels have replaced the trees for scoring. But some of our beloved player names are different, as well as some of the names for the balls. The Chaser is, at this point, known as the Catcher. And the Bludger, in my opinion, is more appropriately named the the Blooder.

[Lyle and Michael laugh]

Rosie: I love that she’s created her own etymology for these words.

Michael: Yeah!

Rosie: It’s just brilliant to see that kind of translation through time. As anyone who’s studied etymology and any kind of history of language, this is just… It makes me warm and fuzzy inside.

Michael: Quidditch Through the Ages, I think more than any of the extra canonical books, ends up being the super-duper-easter-eggy book…

Rosie: Yeah, yeah.

Michael: … where all of these little tidbits about Quidditch are revealed so cleverly. Around this time, Beaters are introduced. So in the early days of Quidditch, you just had to outrun the boulders and the rocks and there was nobody to beat them off. But by this time, Beaters have come into the game. But notably, there is still something major missing from the game, and that is, of course, the Golden Snitch. But there is quite a tragic backstory that Rowling developed for the Golden Snitch. The Golden Snitch was inspired by a magical bird known as a Snidget. You can look at a drawing of it in Quidditch Through the Ages by Rowling. It is a diminutive, fat, little bird, seemingly based off of a hummingbird. It’s a fat hummingbird, is essentially what it is.

[Kat and Michael laugh]

Rosie: Yeah, a hummingbird that’s accidentally eaten a grapefruit. [laughs]

Michael: [laughs] That’s exactly what it is. The other interesting thing to note about the Snidget is that it has red, jewel-like eyes, which I think is a little detail that’s often passed over about the Snidget. It’s kind of almost eerie in that way. The Ministry classification for the Snidget, currently, is “XXXX,” which translates to, “Dangerous,” “Requires specialist knowledge,” and “Skilled wizard may handle.” But the last two seem to be the most applicable in the Snidget’s case. It’s not classified as such because it’s dangerous. It’s actually probably one of the most innocent little animals in the wizarding world. It is classified as such for very severe penalties for capturing it. And that came about because Snidgets were used in Snidget hunting, which was a popular sport in the medieval ages. This goes along to… of course, there were a lot of animal-hunting sports back in the days. I suppose, Rosie, the most popular one… would that be fox hunting? The equivalent?

Rosie: In medieval times? Fox hunting has kind of… it remained a lot longer. I would say more stag, and yeah, deer hunting would be the main hunt. So they would go on the grand hunts, so stag or…

Kat: Quail?

Rosie: Yeah, fox. Possibly some quail. General kinds of pheasant and birds like that. Grouse. Things that remain today.

Michael: Yeah.

Rosie: But it sounds like Snidgets didn’t fair as well as some of these creatures.

Lyle: Which is surprising because with how hard they are to catch, they must have been really popular to hunt if there are still other animals. But Snidgets are dying out because there are so few of them left, even though they’re really hard to catch.

Kat: You know why? It’s because it’s a cool trophy to put on your wall. Because if they’re cute and they’re small and they’re hard to catch, people are going to try more often because it’s more prized to have one of those.

Lyle: Mhm. That’s a good point.

Rosie: Yeah. Well, they could be delectable as well. If you ever heard the story about Darwin and the turtles… Have you heard this story?

Kat and Michael: No.

Rosie: No? So on the original voyage to… oh, which island was it? Some of the islands that Darwin visited and did all of his research about the finches and all of that kind of thing. They came across a particular species of turtle, and there wasn’t much to eat on the island so they caught and they ate one of these turtles.

Michael: Oh, God. [laughs]

Rosie: And they were going to bring some of them back to the mainland so that they could do some research and could catalog them. They ended up eating every single turtle.

[Lyle and Michael laugh]

Rosie: Because they were so delicious.

Lyle: Holy cow.

Rosie: They literally ate every single one and wiped out the entire species.

Michael: Darwin! [laughs]

Rosie: Yeah.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: He deserved one of his own awards.

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: Naughty, naughty.

Lyle: Oh, man.

Rosie: So perhaps something similar happened to the Snidget.

[Michael laughs]

Rosie: Maybe that grapefruit size is actually a significant portion of its interest.

Kat: Sad.

Michael: Well, what we did confirm about the Snidget is they aren’t hunted just because they’re fast and fun to hunt. They are also prized for their eyes and for their feathers. Not necessarily sure what people do with them, but they are exploited for that. And they were hunted to near…

Lyle: Tiny, tiny trophies.

Michael: Very tiny… I guess I’m assuming since she’s saying they’re jewel-like that… it’s a horrible thought, but their eyes must have been used in that respect. As jewelry.

Kat: Aww.

Michael: So… ugh.

Rosie: Poor Snidgets.

Michael: The sport also had the ancillary effect of causing multiple sightings of wizards by Muggles because there were huge groups of wizards flying on their brooms, chasing Snidgets everywhere.

[Lyle laughs]

Michael: But the Snidget found its way into Quidditch in 1269 by the then Wizards’ Council Chief, Barbarus Bragge [pronounces as “Bradge” ] I believe? Bragge? [pronounces as “Brag”]

Kat and Rosie: I would say Bragge. [pronounces as “Brag” ]

Michael: Barabarus Bragge. Bragge [pronounces as “Brag”] seems to fit him more, considering his type.

Kat: Mmm.

[Rosie laughs]

Michael: Bragge thought it would be funny to release a Snidget into a game of Quidditch because he thought it would be fun to watch skilled Quidditch players go after the Snidget. Somebody who did not think that was funny was audience member Madam Modesty Rabnott, who took it upon herself to summon and save the Snidget from its horrible fate. Interestingly, Bragge had offered the players, coincidentally, 150 Galleons as a prize if they caught the Snitch. By introducing the Snitch – or the Snidget – into this game, there was a significant difference because not only were the Chasers going after it, but every player abandoned their post to go after the Snidget. [laughs] And the rest of the game of Quidditch was pretty much forgotten at that point. Even the Keepers and the Beaters went after it.

Lyle: Well, interestingly… because at the end, mine has a little note, and it says that that much gold back then is equivalent to over a million galleons now. And it says…

Rosie: Yep, so you can understand why they’d all be chasing after it.

Lyle: Yeah, they’re all like, “We’re out of here!” [laughs] I mean, that’s a lot of money.

Kat and Michael: Yeah.

Kat: I would chase it for that much.

[Lyle laughs]

Michael: Of course. And as Whisp notes, the moot point: that we’re not really sure if Bragge was actually going to pay the 150 Galleon prize.

[Lyle and Michael laugh]

Michael: And as Modesty reveals in her letter to her friend about the incident…

Rosie: Sister.

Michael: Is it her sister that she’s writing to?

Rosie: Her sister, Prudence.

Michael: Yeah, that’s right because she’s going to go live with her because she’s lost her house due to this incident because she’s been fined ten Galleons. By the 13th century, around the time of this event, the game is kind of called Quidditch. It’s called “Cuaditch.” The way she spells it: C-U-A-D-I-T-C-H. And the Seeker role, not too long after this incident with the Snidget, was introduced. But the Seeker at the time was called the Hunter. Which is also a pretty cool way because we often equate Harry not just as a Seeker in Quidditch but also as a Seeker in the Harry Potter series; the Seeker of objects and whatnot…

Kat: Mmm.

Rosie: Yeah.

Michael: … so the “Hunter” is a pretty cool synonym for that.

Kat: And I liked the shout-out… I liked having her name be Modesty since there’s one in the Fantastic Beasts films, so that’s a fun little shout-out there, too, for the record.

Michael: Yeah.

Rosie: Also, just a family where you’ve got Modesty and Prudence as sisters is just…

Kat: Yeah.

[Lyle and Michael laugh]

Rosie: Those parents were definitely following those ideas.

Kat: Yes, they were.

Michael: Yes, as Kat noted before we started recording, there seem to be a lot of repeat names throughout Quidditch Through the Ages. There’s a…

Rosie: As we were saying, it’s those Easter eggs, isn’t it?

Kat: Indeed.

Michael: Mhm. Yeah, I figured that in the… Gertie Keddle’s friend Gwenog might have been a reference to Gwenog Jones, who will…

Kat: For sure.

Rosie: Of the Holyhead Harpies.

Michael: … of the Holyhead Harpies, exactly.

Rosie: I cannot hear the phrase “Gwenog Jones” without thinking of the Holyhead Harpies.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Right.

Rosie: It’s just always said. [laughs]

Michael: But there was… And also, with the Snidget, because it was alive and had a mind of its own, this was one of the few times in the history of Quidditch where the crowd got to participate in the game; they used Repelling Charms to keep the Snidget on the pitch so that it didn’t just fly off out of bounds. So the poor Snidget went through quite a bit of turmoil. But luckily, along came Miss Elfrida Clagg who was the Chieftainess of the Wizard’s or Warlock’s Council, depending on the source you look up. According to her Wizard Card, Clagg lived from 1612 to 1687, which means that she died just before the establishment of the Ministry of Magic in 1707. She is mentioned in Fantastic Beasts; you guys referenced her briefly last week. There’s a bit of a… this is the other canon discrepancy: She is mentioned as the successor – it’s implied the direct successor – to Burdock Muldoon, who was the 14th century Chief of Wizard’s Council, and as long as wizards live, they definitely do not live that long. But in Fantastic Beasts, she is remembered for attempting to revise Muldoon’s definition of “beasts” and “beings.” Elfrida Clagg is often cited by Rowling as one of the more forward-thinking Chiefs of the Wizard’s Council.

Kat: Well, we know Jo isn’t good at math, so let’s just…

[Michael laughs]

Kat: Maybe dates, too. Dates, math; they go hand-in-hand sometimes, so… [laughs]

Michael: That would seem to be the case here. But with her forward thinking, Elfrida Clagg declared the Snidget a protected species, which led to the founding of the Modesty Rabnott Snidget Reservation, which was the first of many Snidget reservations worldwide, according to Newt Scamander.

Kat: Yay! Thank you.

Michael: So the Snidget has been saved.

Kat: Yeah, that is the saddest… I mean, one of the saddest stories in this. The fact that they just… Oh, that poor bird. [laughs] It’s so sad.

Michael: A perfect lead-in, Rosie, for your little story about your fish.

Kat: Aww.

Rosie: Yeah.

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: So soon after this book was released, I got a goldfish at the fair. And it was one of the last goldfishes that you were able to win in the fair because they actually introduced a law that said that was illegal soon after. So I got a goldfish and I wanted a name for it, and I was thinking, “What kind of names would be appropriate for something gold?” and I went for “Snidget” because it was the perfect name for a golden fish.

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Lyle: Especially since it became outlawed to have them at a fair. [laughs]

Rosie: Exactly! I know. It’s perfect for it.

Michael: Yeah, it’s perfect.

Kat: That’s cute.

Michael: Perfect, yes.

Rosie: So if you ever have a fish that is gold and you want to name it something, “Snidget” is a good name for a goldfish.

Kat: And then he went to live in the big Snidget reservation in the sky, right?

[Lyle and Michael laugh]

Rosie: Yes, unfortunately. [laughs] But he did last a few years, so that’s fine.

Kat: That’s good.

Michael: Yes, if you don’t name your fish “Francis,” you can name it “Snidget.” [laughs]

Rosie: Exactly. And if you have two, they can be friends!

Michael: Francis and Snidget.

Kat: Aww, fishy friends.

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Michael: Luckily, there was another individual who came along to assist with ensuring the Snidget would be protected as the years went by, and that was Mr. Bowman Wright, as we mentioned earlier; the surname seemingly inspired by the Wright Brothers. Bowman Wright is listed as living from 1492 to 1560 on his Wizard Card, which once again creates a bit of an issue with the dates.

Kat: Well, and what’s funny, too [is] between Bowman and Elfrida, they both only lived around 50 or 60 years, so the life expectancy of wizards must have changed over time because Dumbledore was around 111 or 112, right, when he died?

Lyle: Either that or there was an angry mob about the people who were messing up their game of Quidditch and outlawing things.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Maybe.

Michael: Well, that goes…

Rosie: Well, medieval lifespans were definitely a lot shorter…

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: True.

Rosie: … and Dumbledore has been friends with the Philosopher’s Stone maker for a long time, so maybe he had some elements of prolonged life.

Kat: Oh, that’s… I feel like that’s a topic episode waiting to happen.

[Michael laughs]

Kat: I’m super interested to talk about that now.

Rosie: It is. [laughs]

Michael: I think you’re on point, Rosie, though, with the idea that life expectancy for Muggles was very short around this time…

Rosie: Yeah.

Michael: … so it would make sense that wizard lifespans were shorter, too. But…

Rosie: There is something very interesting about Bowman Wright, too.

Michael: Yeah, where he came from!

Rosie: Why, Godric’s Hollow, of course!

Michael: [gasps] What a twist!

Kat: Of course.

Rosie: Dun, dun, dun!

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: All the best people seem to come from Godric’s Hollow, don’t they?

[Lyle laughs]

Rosie: They do indeed!

Lyle: There must be a really long waiting list to try to move in there.

[Everyone laughs]

Lyle: “Wait. Nope. Got to do something great first.”

Michael: So yeah, the value of the houses there must be astronomical for wizards.

Lyle: Yeah, it’s like the Beverly Hills of the wizarding world.

Michael: [laughs] Interestingly, Bowman Wright is credited as being a talented metal-charmer.

Kat: Huh.

Michael: Yeah. I didn’t really… The only thing I could think about in terms of that is that smithing was a thing back then…

Kat: Yeah.

Rosie: Definitely.

Michael: … so I guess that translates into the wizarding world as being able to… being more [at] one with the elements, I guess, when you’re magic.

Kat: But how do you charm metal? Do you take it out for drinks? I mean, I don’t…

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: I know; that was terrible.

Michael: That was fantastic.

Kat: But really, how do you charm metal? That just…

Rosie: Well, things like horseshoes have always been considered lucky, haven’t they?

Michael: Mhm.

Rosie: Like one horseshoe [in] a particular direction, up or down, above a door is supposed to be granting your house good luck…

Kat: Mhm.

Rosie: … so it would be interesting if that [were] an element of this, that the horseshoes have been charmed or blessed in such a way.

Kat: Oh, I like that. I’m going to choose to believe that.

Lyle: I was thinking that it was more like changing the actual form of the metal and that’s how he created the Golden Snitch.

Rosie: Yeah, probably that, too, but…

Kat: So it’s like Desk!Pig but with metal.

Rosie: Yes.

Kat: And not a pig.

[Everyone laughs]

Rosie: And not alive. [laughs]

Michael: Well, it made me think… My immediate thought as a fan of this particular series was… My mind immediately went to Avatar: The Last Airbender as well as The Legend of Korra.

Lyle: Mhm.

Rosie: Yep. Metal-bending.

Michael: Yes, because metal-bending is considered a particularly talented bit of bending because it’s an extension of earth-bending but it’s much more challenging to do.

Kat: Hmm. Okay.

Michael: So yeah, if you’re a metal-bender, you’re awesome. So that speaks to Bowman’s… I feel like that’s the implication that Rowling was saying by making him a metal-charmer…

Rosie: Yeah.

Michael: … is that he was particularly powerful with his magic. And yes, he has a great little Wizard Card. He’s one of my favorite Wizard Cards, actually. Whenever I would make Wizard Cards for my parties, I would always keep the Bowman Wright card for myself because I just love the idea of the guy who created the Snitch.

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Kat: So you have 12 of them now?

Michael: I have a few. I’m pretty sure I have more than one copy. I think I would just slip them to the side or slip them in my pocket before the party started.

Kat: Right. Him and Celestina, right?

Michael: Oh, yeah. Of course. [laughs] But again, we’ll leave it to the fans to try and detangle Wright and Clagg and their canon issues with the timeline because they… if you apply their Wizard Card dates to the writings in Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts, you get quite a mess.

Kat: Which is funny because wasn’t…? I’m assuming that she wrote these around the same time?

Michael: Yeah, the Cards came out around almost… because the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone video game is the first appearance of both of their… I don’t know if Clagg got a Wizard Card by that time, but I want to say Bowman did. They definitely had cards by 2002 because they were in the Chamber of Secrets video game.

Kat: Okay. So then if she wrote the Cards and the books around the same time, how do you mess that up?

Michael: Well, she had a lot in her head to sort out.

Kat: [sighs] Jo.

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Michael: Get on it, Rowling! [snaps fingers]

Rosie: Never mind.

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Michael: But we move on from the sad little story of the Snidget but with luckily a happy ending to issues of Muggles and their involvement with Quidditch. There’s a little more definitive timeline in this chapter – in Chapter 5. In 1362 Quidditch is banned by the Wizards’ Council from being played within 50 miles of inhabited towns, and that is again amended in 1368 to within 100 miles.

[Lyle, Michael, and Rosie laugh]

Michael: So, obviously wizards aren’t doing a good job of keep…

Rosie: There’s no such thing as a sneaky wizard.

[Everyone laughs]

Lyle: There’s that one game where they just ran off the pitch 50 miles away and people were like, “Hey, there’s people flying on brooms!” [laughs] “Wait… no… 100 miles.”

[Lyle, Michael, and Rosie laugh]

Michael: So, in 1398 the previously mentioned Zacharias Mumps attempts to encourage caution when playing Quidditch by putting forth a few suggestions on how to keep your Quidditch pitch a secret. But clearly that continues to be ignored, because by 1419 the Wizards’ Council declares that there is a ban on playing Quidditch anywhere near Muggles…

[Rosie laughs]

Michael: … or they will see how well you can fly in a dungeon. [laughs] So, that’s the declaration on Quidditch bans.

Kat: The wonderfully passive-aggressive amendment.

Michael: Yes.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: It’s wonderful. It’s wonderful.

Michael: By 1692 – as we previously mentioned last week in Fantastic Beasts – the International Statute of Secrecy shows up which leads to the formation of the Ministry’s Department of Magical Games and Sports. And there is an infamous example in 1814 of the rules still being broken by Scotland’s… I believe, is it the Banchory Bangers? Is that how we say it, Rosie?

Rosie: Yep. Mhm.

Michael: They became infamous for their post-match revelry in one particular incident where they let their Bludgers just leave the pitch after they won the match.

[Rosie laughs]

Michael: And they also went after… I believe they were going to look for a Hebredian Black dragon?

Rosie: Yep.

Michael: Because they wanted one for their mascot. [laughs] Totally reasonable. Thus, their post-match celebrations got them banned and disbanded by the Ministry of Magic, which is the current rule if you go messing around and giving yourself away; you will be disbanded and no longer be able to play in leagues. The Ministry now currently establishes certified pitches for professional Quidditch. They try to seek out deserted moors, which they consider their ideal location. And we saw a perfect example of that, I believe, in the 2014 live reports from the Quidditch World Cup, so that tradition continues to this day.

Rosie: I believe so.

Michael: But despite that, there were a lot of changes that occurred in Quidditch from the 14th century onward when most of the rules started to become more well-established. As described by Zacharias Mumps in the 14th century, we actually get exact measurements for a Quidditch pitch. They are meant to be 500 feet long, 180 feet wide, with a 2-foot diameter circle at the very middle for where the balls are released. Interestingly, in the 14th century the players all started on the ground, and they became airborne once the referee – at that time called the Quijudge… [laughs]

Kat: Okay? [laughs]

Michael: … released the balls. [laughs] So, you can kind of see why that named was dropped.

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: At this time the Quidditch players are using baskets on poles for their goals, which is obviously very similar to the origins of basketball. Of course, their baskets are turned a different way to catch the Quaffle, but by the 17th century we started to get a few revisions. As described by Quintius Umfraville, scoring areas were established, which limited the Keeper’s movements and the Chasers’ scoring distances, and the goal baskets’ heights were increased.

Rosie: I wonder why they needed to make it more difficult, because both of those things just increase the difficulty of actually scoring, doesn’t it?

Michael: Yeah, but in a way that kind of makes sense, right? Because there’s just too much freeform amongst the players, right?

Rosie: Yeah.

Michael: Everybody’s just wandering…

Rosie: They can all be…

Michael: Yeah. Everybody is aimlessly wandering around the pitch. Because at this point in the 14th century – as we’ll see mentioned later – the Keepers were allowed to actually score goals, so they were just basically glorified Chasers.

Rosie: Who occasionally protected the goals.

Michael: Yeah, when they felt like it. [laughs]

Rosie: [laughs] Sounds like McLaggen, you know.

Michael: Yeah. McLaggen would be a great 14th century player.

[Rosie laughs]

Michael: But one of the first and most egregious changes by the Department of Magical Games and Sports occurred on February 12 of 1883 when, Merlin forbid, the goalposts and the goal hoops officially replaced the baskets. This was done in an attempt to revise and standardize goal sizes, because as is mentioned in the Daily Prophet article, they decided wizards would just use whatever size baskets they wanted, including basket sizes that couldn’t fit a Quaffle.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Such cheaters! Man…

Michael: As opposed to the opposing team who would have giant baskets that they had obviously enlarged with magic.

Kat: And that is where the carnies of the world learned how to do that little…

[Michael laughs]

Kat: The game trick where the [hoop] is a little too small for the ball.

Michael: Yep! Funnily enough, this created major backlash from the wizarding public, including a demonstration at the Ministry of Magic where all of the protestors threw baskets at the representatives when they didn’t like what they were hearing. This is a lovely bit of Jo’s humor here because we get this exact repetition a little later in another article.

Rosie: Yeah. I love the amount of Scotland that she’s mentioned in this book as well. You can really tell that she’s been living in Edinburgh for a while by this point. Everything is coming down to those brash Scottish highlanders with their dangerous games and…

Michael: Well… and before we started the show, Kat had asked you, Rosie, if you felt… because that’s the other bit about Quidditch Through the Ages is [that] more than any piece in the Harry Potter series, this one seems to specifically do a lot of citing of the…

Rosie: Historical relevance.

Michael: Yeah. And the areas…

Kat: Landscapes.

Michael: The different areas of British culture.

Rosie: Sure.

Michael: So, as a Brit yourself, do you feel it lives up?

Rosie: [laughs] It seems to match the history of football and the history of other British sports. Kat asked me earlier if some of these names of these sports seemed odd or anything like that. But there is literally a competition every single year in England where you have to chase a rolling cheese down a hill.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Yeah, I’ve seen that, which is the craziest thing ever!

Rosie: We are that odd.

[Everyone laughs]

Rosie: These are all perfectly acceptable games in England. I don’t see why not.

[Everyone laughs]

Lyle: Wow.

Kat: I think one of the Phelps twins posted that on one of their social media accounts last year or the year before, and I remember being like, what the heck?

Rosie: Yeah.

[Lyle and Michael laugh]

Kat: What, is this fake? What?!

Rosie: Nope, it’s really real. There’s a massively steep hill that you start at the top of with a wheel of cheese, you let your wheel of cheese go, you chase it, [and] the person who catches it first is…

[Kat and Michael laugh]

Lyle: That was on The Amazing Race one time. I remember seeing that and I was like, what is going on here? [laughs]

Rosie: Very likely.

Michael: Madness.

Rosie: The UK has some strange traditions. [laughs]

Michael: Well, I mean, Quidditch certainly would seem to fit well within that, wouldn’t it?

Rosie: It would, yeah.

[Lyle, Michael, and Rosie laugh]

Michael: Probably one of the major things that changed about the game – and was probably one of my favorite bits of exploration – were the Quidditch balls. The first one that’s described is the Quaffle, which is the only ball out of the set that was not originally enchanted; it was just a leather ball. Interestingly, it originally had a strap for holding and throwing – which if you’ve played Quidditch in real life, you probably long for that strap.

Rosie: Yep.

Michael: [laughs] Because it is very hard to play without a Gripping Charm. Of course now we know with the film design, you get that lovely little indent on the Quaffle to make it a little easier to grip. Of course, in Rowling’s canon, that is not the case. The ball would later, actually, resemble a bowling ball for grip. But that was eventually eliminated. And in 1875, a modern, smooth, sleek design was introduced due to the invention of the gripping charm, so you can actually hold a Quaffle with one hand thanks to magic, which would be nice if that would somehow be developed in the real world.

[Lyle laughs]

Michael: But, also, in 1711, that is the year that the Quaffle becomes red. It is changed from brown to red in an attempt to increase its visibility because it kept falling in the mud. Quidditch seems to be played a lot in the rain. So, that tended to be a big problem.

Rosie: It is England! [laughs]

Michael: It is England, where it is raining right now, correct?

Rosie: Yep. [laughs]

Kat: Of course.

Rosie: England.

[Everyone laughs]

Lyle: Also, the games went on for sometimes months at a time, and that ball would probably get pretty dirty by that amount of time.

Kat: Mhm.

Rosie: Very true.

Michael: That’s true. We do have a citation of a six-month-long game at a later point. So, that is true. So, you know, if you were to go out on the day of this recording you might even run yourself into a Quidditch match. If you were so lucky.

Rosie: And in a moor in the middle of nowhere.

[Lyle, Michael, and Rosie laugh]

Michael: Yes, if you were in a moor. Also in 1711, Miss Daisy Pennifold bewitched Quaffles with a charm. This was a big question, I think, for a lot of people, about Quidditch, about the Quaffle, when it is tossed and what happens to it. Because everybody seems to, in the Harry Potter series, have an easy time of catching it…

[Lyle laughs]

Michael: … if it’s just tossed into the nothingness. But, as explained by Whisp, Miss Pennifold invented a charm to cause the Quaffle to fall as if it is in water or in slow-motion, and her technique was deemed the Pennifold Quaffle, and it is still used to this day to ensure that you can catch a Quaffle even if it is thrown into the middle of the pitch where nobody is there. And you will see the Pennifold Quaffle in action if you play Quidditch World Cup.

[Rosie laughs]

Michael: Because if you’re not as good a player as me, you will frequently throw the Quaffle into the nothingness.

[Lyle and Michael laugh]

Michael: A lot. The Bludgers, interestingly, as we noted earlier, were derived from the flying rocks from the crazy Scottish game. By the 1100s, they were carved to look like balls, but the problem was, by the 1500s, those rock balls would be cracked by the Beaters’ bats, and you would be chased by a bunch of little pebbles during the game.

Rosie: Pebbles which seem quite close to bullets. Quite dangerous I would say.

Lyle: Yeah.

Michael: Yes.

Lyle: Yeah.

Michael: Pebbles at high-speed. Not fun.

Rosie: No.

Michael: And it’s funny you say bullets, Rosie, because wizards began experimenting with lead Bludgers which were, as noted in the book, barely distinguishable from cannonballs.

Rosie: Oh.

Michael: Yeah.

Lyle: It’s like a suicide game, seriously. [laughs]

Michael: Yeah. No. It’s all…

Lyle: Everything they have is so dangerous. [laughs]

Michael: It’s really, truly, the most horrible idea.

[Lyle laughs]

Michael: And we do get a fun little excerpt from researcher Agatha Chubb, who is an expert in ancient wizarding artifacts, who notes why a lead Bludger is distinctive from a cannonball. As she notes, “The faint indentations of magically reinforced Beaters’ bats are visible, and one can see the distinctive hallmarks of manufacture by a wizard, as opposed to a Muggle. The smoothness of line, the perfect symmetry. A final clue is the fact that each and every one of them whizzed around my study and attempted to knock me to the floor when released from its case.”

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Kat: Nice.

Michael: Minor thing, to mention there, Agatha.

Rosie: Yes, an afterthought.

Michael: Yes. “Also, they tried to kill me.” Modern Bludgers, though, we now have confirmation, are made from iron. Lead was actually considered too soft because the Beaters’ bats could damage the lead Bludgers and damaged Bludgers cannot fly straight. They are exactly ten inches in diameter and, as we learned a little more about in Chamber of Secrets, they are meant to chase the player indiscriminately. They will attack the closest player if they are left idle.

Rosie: Or, if they have been enchanted by Dobby, they will chase after Harry Potter.>

[Michael laughs]

Kat: Right. [laughs]

Lyle: How easy do you think it is to enchant one? Because I feel like that would be happening a lot in big games, where people are betting on things. There must be something…

Kat: Yes, but don’t forget: Dobby has different magic.

Lyle: What if someone just had their house-elf enchant it for them. Because they can’t say no.

Michael: That’s true.

Kat: It’s cheating and they shouldn’t do that.

[Lyle and Rosie laugh]

Lyle: Oh, right, I forgot. [laughs]

Michael: I don’t remember what part of canon it’s discussed in. I may be making it up, so don’t cite this, listeners, but I want to say, it may even be mentioned in here in a later chapter, that Quidditch balls tend to be put under very strict protection.

Rosie: Yeah.

Michael: And they are very challenging to charm.

Lyle: That’s probably true, yeah.

Michael: So as to make…

Rosie: And I think that house-elves’ magic is underrated anyways, so perhaps the wizards wouldn’t be imaginative enough to think about…

Lyle: Okay, yeah.

Rosie: … asking the house-elves to help that way.

Kat: Very Tom Riddle of them.

Michael and Rosie: Yes.

Michael: The Golden Snitch we pretty much know a lot about. Reading the Golden Snitch summary in Quidditch Through the Ages is like reading Percy’s welcome letter to Gryffindor on Pottermore.

[Michael and Rosie laugh]

Michael: It really doesn’t tell you much more than you already know. Interestingly, though, I think, probably, the interesting thing that’s left out is the important detail from Deathly Hallows of flesh memory.

Rosie: Yes.

Lyle: Yeah, that’s interesting.

Michael: And the fact that Snitches are hollow.

Rosie: So I wonder if that’s a deliberate leaving-out because she wants to reveal it later on, or…

Lyle: Oh.

Kat: Oh, yeah.

Rosie: … or if it’s that she hasn’t actually come up with it yet. [laughs]

Michael: Yeah. I was curious, because this is something we’ll obviously, maybe examine in the next episode, but I want to say that’s not brought up in the later chapters about the Snitch. So I’m pretty sure that piece about the Snitch was not developed by this point.

Rosie: Yeah.

Lyle: Or she was keeping it secret, which could make sense, too.

Michael: But it would have been fun to have that dropped here.

Kat: Yeah.

Michael: Because it probably would’ve been something that people would have passed on without even thinking about it.

Kat: Yeah, and very few things, I feel like, in this book that are actual hints, people ever picked up on.

Michael: Yeah.

Kat: So that’s kind of fun.

Michael: Mhm.

Kat: And the reveal that they have flesh memories isn’t all that far after he’s given the Snitch in Hallows anyway, right?

Michael: Yeah.

Kat: Because Hermione says it after Scrimgeour leaves.

Michael: Yes.

Kat: So it’s not like it’s a big thing. I guess the hollow part is maybe something.

Michael: Mhm.

Rosie: But just the idea that Harry has caught these Snitches, so for something to kind of imprint on him is quite interesting.

Kat and Michael: Yeah.

Rosie: But yeah, I would assume that she hadn’t invented that idea yet and decided it would be a fun circle theory detail to include in Deathly Hallows.

Michael: Mhm.

Lyle: I’m sure this is answered somewhere, but does that mean that you can only use a Snitch once?

Michael: No, I want to say no, because I feel like… maybe it is, though.

Rosie: Because they say, I think in Deathly Hallows they say that a Snitch is never handled until its game.

Michael: Yeah.

Rosie: Like they always wear gloves.

Kat: Right. I think…

Rosie: So, that would presumably mean that you have to kind of reset it or something in some way.

Lyle: Oh right, you could reset it maybe somehow.

Kat: Right, that is because they can tell who caught it, if two people touch it.

Lyle: Right.

Kat: Because it will imprint to whoever touched it first.

Rosie: So, then why did it never get wiped after Harry’s first game?

Lyle: Maybe Dumbledore kept it.

Kat: Dumbledore probably kept it, yeah.

Lyle: That’s a lot of foresight, though. [laughs]

Rosie: Yeah. But you know, Dumbledore.

Michael: Yeah. Dumbledore probably wandered over…

Rosie: We all know that he’s actually gone back in time and told himself all these things.

[Lyle laughs]

Michael: Probably wandered over to Madam Hooch and was like, [in a British accent]“Could I keep that as a memento of Harry’s first game?”

Kat: Or, I mean, maybe, Hogwarts really only has, what six games a year? Six, eight games, maybe? At most.

Lyle: That always confused me. Like, why would they have so few games? It’s confusing.

Kat: There’s only four teams, and they only play each other once unless they get into the finals.

Lyle: Right.

Rosie: There’s so much effort involved in getting the whole school down there to watch and take a half-day off.

[Michael laughs]

Lyle: I feel like that’s just a boring season, though. You get to watch like six games and now the season’s over.

Kat: The games are three months apart or something ridiculous like that, so…

Rosie: And with the potential to go on for months as well, if they wanted to.

Lyle: How are they supposed to get practice to play on the real teams in the wizarding world?

Kat: They don’t. They don’t.

Lyle: So, the teams are all just awful, I guess.

Michael: That’s a worthwhile thing. Because I think with examining Quidditch Through the Ages, you kind of start to wonder why… I mean, I personally do. And I know we, of course, get the stuff about Aurors really drilled into Harry, but why didn’t he consider a Quidditch career? Because he was really good at it. That’s…

Kat: He didn’t play that much. Honestly.

Lyle: None of them did. [laughs]

Kat: Yeah.

Michael: But he was – he was singled out as being very naturally adept at Quidditch. So…

Lyle: And he loved it.

Michael: Yeah.

Lyle: He thought about it all the time.

Michael: Yeah, he did.

Kat: I think he didn’t play because Jo hated it.

[Kat, Lyle, and Rosie laugh]

Michael: Yeah.

Rosie: I also think that if you are going to go within story you could say that he played Quidditch to be close to his dad and because it was something that his dad did.

Michael: Mhm.

Rosie: And he was good at it and it was that connection to the wizarding world and it felt right. But he would never have wanted to have been popular and at the center stage as he would have been.

Kat: Why are you always so much smarter than us, Rosie?

[Lyle laughs]

Rosie: I’m not.

Kat: It’s because…

Lyle: Well…

Kat: … you’re British and we’re American.

Michael: Go ahead, Lyle.

Lyle: And if you think about it I guess Voldemort and defeating Voldemort was a much bigger part of his life than Quidditch was.

Rosie: Yeah.

Lyle: In the end.

Michael: Mhm.

Rosie: And, also, Umbridge told him he would never be an Auror so he had to be one.

Lyle: [laughs] Yeah.

Michael: Yeah, Quidditch does come with an unwanted limelight for Harry.

Lyle: Yeah.

Kat: That’s true, too.

Michael: So, that would probably be something he’d consider undesirable. And, really, I suppose when you think about it in a way Quidditch was also… because Harry did get the attention from Quidditch at the time – and we discussed this in those moments, but Harry did at times use Quidditch to… as an advantageous way to gain favor with the school.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: Yeah.

Michael: Or, with certain individuals like Cho Chang.

Rosie: I would have thought he could may be like a manager or something.

Michael: Mhm.

Rosie: That would have been a really good role for him.

Michael: Mhm.

Kat: He will be coach when his kids play on a local Quidditch team.

Rosie: Exactly.

[Lyle laughs]

Rosie: Exactly.

Michael: Of course, they won’t want him. They’ll want their mother Ginny who was in the leagues. So…

Kat: Right, exactly.

Rosie: Very true.

[Michael laughs]

Kat: True. True. True.

Lyle: And there’s not really coaches, at least at school, because it’s just the team captain who’s in charge.

Kat: Right.

Michael: Because Madam Hooch doesn’t really serve as a coach, so to speak.

Lyle: Other than teaching them right from the beginning.

Michael: Yeah, and that’s interesting because that’s something Rowling establishes… because Madam Hooch, as we see, slowly fades away from the Harry Potter series. Both the books and the movies.

[Kat laughs]

Michael: And she, Rowling, confirmed through Pottermore and through her old website that that broomstick class is a one off that first years get. It’s not… there’s no follow up in later years.

Lyle: So do you think…

Kat: Which is funny considering that first years aren’t allowed to have brooms anyway.

Michael: Yeah.

Rosie: Yeah.

Lyle: [laughs] So, do you think that she had a side job somewhere. Because she had to do something other than just teach first years once a year.

Kat: Maybe she just makes a butt load of money.

[Lyle and Michael laugh]

Lyle: She had to take pilot lessons and so gets paid…

Kat: Or she…

Rosie: She referees some of the games.

Michael: I was going to say maybe she referees in the leagues too.

Lyle: Oh, that’s true.

Kat: Right.

Lyle: Yeah.

Kat: Maybe she’s semi-retired…

Lyle: Yeah.

Kat: …and she’s just loaded.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: So, she just travels. We don’t know.

Michael: Maybe Madam Hooch is the most awesome character of the series and we just don’t know it.

Lyle: She’s one of those quiet judges or whatever they are.

Michael: Yeah.

Kat: Yeah, exactly.

Michael: [laughs] And we’ll get to the referee because there is a little section about them in here. But, going back to the Snitch, really, the most interesting piece from that that we get is that in 1884 there was a snitch that famously managed to evade capture during a game on Bodmin Moor for six months.

Kat: Wow.

Michael: And the game continued on as such until the players basically got tired of it and apparently the Seekers were not particularly good Seekers. And an unconfirmed tale continues to suggest that the Snitch still lives wild on the moor.

Rosie: [laughs] The Golden Snitch is actually the beast of Bodmin Moor. That would be hilarious.

Michael: Oh, is there a beast of Bodmin Moor? Is that a thing?

Rosie: It’s one of the… I think it’s a Sherlock Holmes story.

Michael: Oh.

Kat: Oh. That’s pretty funny.

Rosie: It might not be an actual beast.

Michael: Oh, that’s great. It’s a Snitch. [laughs]

Rosie: No, it’s not Sherlock Holmes. It’s an actual myth. It’s meant to be like a wild cat so it’s not actually a Snitch.

Michael: [laughs] Oh, it’s definitely a Snitch.

Kat: I’m sure that that’s what Jo is leaning towards.

Rosie: Yeah. Just the idea of a mysterious creature living wild on Bodmin Moor is very funny.

Michael: That’s fun. That made me think too of… the equivalent for me in the series is the flying Ford Anglia in the forest. Letting magical objects run around.

[Lyle laughs]

Rosie: That kind of thing exactly.

Michael: I really like the idea of a savage snitch. That’s pretty funny.

[Rosie laughs]

Lyle: Now this was a Snitch, right, not a Snidget?

Michael: Yeah, it was a Snitch not a Snidget.

Lyle: Oh, okay. Right.

Michael: Because we’re in the 1800s…

Michael: … that would have been in the…

Rose: Yeah. See, Savage Snitch is also a really good title name for the…

Michael: Yeah. [laughs]

Rosie: Slightly more…

Michael: That alliteration right there.

Rosie: Yeah, exactly.

[Michael laughs]

Rosie: Perfect name for a Quidditch team: Savage Snitches.

[Lyle laughs]

Michael: Oh man, that would be great. That is the official Alohomora

Kat: Quidditch team.

Michael: … Quidditch team name.

Kat: Nice.

Michael: We are the Savage Snitches. [laughs] Put that on a shirt.

[Kat laughs]

Michael: The players also evolved as well. We mentioned a little bit about a few things about how the players changed throughout Quidditch. The Keeper had some pretty drastic changes as we mentioned. In the 13th century Keepers were permitted to score goals. So, they were not just goalies, they were also Chasers as well. Two rolls combined into one. But by the 17th century the scoring areas were established on the pitch meaning that keepers could no longer score goals. However, they were still permitted to leave the scoring area to head off and intimidate Chasers. Again, if you played Quidditch World Cup, Keepers are the bane of your existence because they have great AI in that game. They will figure out which hoop you are going after pretty well. The Beaters’ role did not change very much. They beat. They beat the Bludgers.

[Rosie laughs]

Michael: They are also expected to have excellent balancing skills because Beaters are one of the rolls that often are required to take both hands off of the broom. Which is a terrifying thought to me. I really didn’t think of that until it was pointed out here. But the interesting little passage about Beaters is on page 50 were Whisp says,

“Beaters need a good deal of physical strength to repel the Bludgers. This is therefore the position that, more than any other, has tended to be taken by wizards rather than witches.”

Kat: Boo!

Michael: Boo! [laughs] I believe the Holyhead Harpies would be happy to disagree with that statement

Rosie: Disagree.

Kat: As a girl who lifts weights, me, I disagree.

Michael: Yeah. Not…

Kat: That is BS.

Michael: Not cool, Kennilworthy Whisp. Not cool. [laughs] Moderately evened out by your vegetarianism but…

[Kat, Lyle, and Michael laugh]

Kat: Right, right.

Michael: I did think that was interesting that Rowling put that in there because as we’ve mentioned, as we talked about a lot in Tales of Beedle the Bard wizards don’t…

Rosie: There [are] a lot of feminist stories, yeah.

Michael: Yes, there [are] a lot of feminist stories and as Rowling has established in the canon wizards don’t seem to really differentiate between males and females as far as strength. It’s not really a concern to them.

Kat: Not every wizard can be perfectly politically correct.

Michael: I guess not. But apparently, in the sport of Quidditch that’s still an issue, which is sad here.

Kat: Maybe they’re jocks and just kind of mean. I don’t know.

Michael: Yeah, boys club type stuff.

Kat: Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

Michael: Sad to hear, but at least we have all female teams like the Holyhead Harpies to change that right?

Kat: Mhm.

Michael: So, the Chasers are the oldest position in Quidditch. They were originally the only position. Just as with the goalposts, changing out baskets for hoops, many years later on June 22 of 18 – not that long after, actually – on June 22 of 1884, about one year after the hoop change, a new rule known as the stooging penalty permitted only the Quaffle carrying chaser into the scoring area. And if more than one chaser was in the scoring area during a goal that would negate the goal.

Kat: Huh.

Michael: Therefore…

Rosie It’s the Quidditch version of offside rule. [laughs]

Lyle: Now, that’s not a rule in actual Quidditch, as in Muggle quidditch? Because I feel like I’ve seen videos where there [are] lots of them going for it at the same time.

Kat: No, yeah, because you have to have assisting and all that stuff.

Lyle: Yeah.

Kat: That is almost exactly 126 years ago, by the way.

Michael: Oh, yeah how about that. Because we’re almost…

Lyle: Oh, wow.

Michael: That’s crazy. Yeah, I think interestingly the rules of… I don’t know too much about the rules of league quidditch for universities but I personally created my own rules that I had for the Harry Potter parties that I had and my rules were fairly different from league quidditch. I’m curious, how does the… this is something I’ve always been curious [about], are Beaters and Bludgers in league quidditch? Is that a role that exists?

Lyle: Yeah, they have dodgeballs.

Kat: Yes, dodgeballs.

Lyle: They don’t have bats or anything, but they just throw the dodgeballs.

Michael: So the Beaters throw the dodgeballs.

Lyle: Yeah, and if they get hit and I think…yeah, this should be right, if they get hit with a dodgeball then they have to run back around to their own quidditch goal and then they can go back to the game.

Kat: Right and I’m pretty sure, just like dodgeball, they can also catch it and make the Beater go back to the goal hoops.

Lyle: Oh, right, yeah, pretty sure that’s a rule too, yes.

Michael: So, are the Beaters allowed to just wander around the pitch during the whole game and do that?

Lyle: Pretty sure.

Michael: Oh, wow, that would be really annoying.

[Lyle, Michael, and Rosie laugh]

Lyle: Yeah, to make you run all the time.

Michael: Because, for my version, I changed the Beaters… The Beaters ended up being a really complicated role to figure out because at first we didn’t even… We actually, for my very first Quidditch game that I did I didn’t have Beaters. I replaced Beaters with Dementors.

[Lyle laughs]

Michael: And all the Dementors did was they ran around the pitch and they tagged you out of the game. And so the Chasers would be out of commission for a while.

Rosie: That’s essentially what the Beaters do.

Lyle: Yeah, just instead of sucking your soul out….

Michael: The thing was, they weren’t allowed to come into… They weren’t allowed to wander the whole pitch the whole time.

Lyle: Oh.

Michael: We had them on a timer.

Rosie: Okay.

Michael: Because we thought that would be too annoying if the Dementors just kept running after the chasers and too distracting.

[Rosie laughs]

Lyle: I think it would be fun to be a Beater thought, for sure.

Michael: Because we later evolved it to having… I made Beaters and Bludgers by taking like a costume police night stick. Like, those plastic sticks? I put fishing wire through a squishy foam ball and sewed it through the bat so the Bludger was attached to the batt.

Kat: So you made a mace in and of itself.

[Lyle laughs]

Michael: Basically, yeah. Fancy.

Kat: Wow, don’t mess with Michael.

Michael: So, the Beaters were still on timers though.

Kat and Lyle: Oh.

Michael: So, they weren’t allowed to be there the whole game because the Chasers were just put through so much during the game…

Lyle: Yeah.

Michael: … that it felt impractical to have them always be chased.

Kat: I’m pretty sure that there’s only one Beater per team on muggle quidditch.

Michael: Oh, really? That makes sense.

Kat: I might be wrong but I’m pretty sure there is only one.


Michael: That would be crazy if there [were] two.

Lyle: But there has to be seven players otherwise it’s like… not seven. Is there an extra Chaser or something?

Michael: That could be it.

Kat: The rules have changed so much since I’ve played, I’m not sure. Somebody out there will be yelling at us so…

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: Yeah those quidditch leaguers.

Rosie: Let us know in the comments!

Michael: Those quidditch leaguers in the comments, let us know how this works proper because we are curious. But, the other thing to note is that in my personal version the Snitch was not a person. We hid a replica Snitch in the sagebrush in my backyard. And the Seeker had to find it, which ended up working out really well because the referee would hide the Snitch really well.

Kat: That’s cute.

Michael: Yeah, and I think the Keepers in league quidditch, they’re restricted to their area right? They can’t go past a certain distance?

Kat: I do believe so. Kind of like soccer.

Michael: Yeah, like a soccer goalie.

Kat: Yeah.

Michael: But speaking as we did of the Seekers, as we mentioned before they are… the biggest reveal about them, but we kind of already knew that from Oliver Wood telling Harry. They are the main target for injuries and as Brutus Scrimgeour pointed out in his rules for Quidditch, take out the Seeker, that is your main goal. So, that’s awful.

Kat: How rude!

Michael: How rude. The rules for Quidditch did evolve over the years. The major one involves the famous game of 1473 where all 700 Quidditch fouls were committed during the very first Quidditch World Cup.

Rosie: Once you’ve done the first 699 you have to go for the last one.

[Kat and Michael laugh]

Michael: They might as well go for broke right? [laughs] So, yes, there are 700 fouls that were recorded by the Department of Magical Games and Sports likely right after this horrific game.

Kat: Okay, Michael, let’s hear them. No, I’m just kidding.

Michael: I’d love to read them but as Whisp points out, “the Department of Magical Games and Sports will not release them to the public for fear of giving them ideas.”

[Lyle, Michael, and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: That’s brilliant.

Michael: And as Whisp confirms he had gotten access to his list for his research and also… He talks about the 700 fouls almost in the same way as Rowling talks about how to make a Horcrux.

[Lyle laughs]

Michael: Basically you don’t want to know.

Lyle: That adds a little bit of complication for the rules though because people are going to be mad if the referee just pulls out this random rule and is like, “That was a foul.”

Kat: I bet the players know. I bet the players know.

Lyle: Oh, that could be. That’s a good point.

Michael: I was going to say too, when the offenses are such things as, for example, setting fire to an opponents’ broom tail, attacking an opponents’ broom with a club, and attacking an opponent with an axe, I would feel like those are such obvious…

Rosie: You should know that those are fouls, yes.

Michael: Yeah.

Lyle: When somebody pulls an axe out of their robes on a Quidditch pitch…

Lyle: Does that mean that all of those actually happened and that’s why they added those fouls? Or was someone just thinking outside the box.

Michael: That is what happened.

Rosie: In that match? Yes.

Michael: Definitely in 1473.

Kat: I mean, think about it, phobias aren’t made just because somebody thought of it, it is because somebody is afraid of it. So, yes, somebody has probably done all of those.

Lyle: Messed up. Messed up. And there was a rule introduced that you could have your wand but you couldn’t use it, right?

Michael: Yes, because I believe with the Statute of Secrecy that also carried the caveat that wizards were allowed to carry their wands at all times due to the prosecution by muggles at the time. So, that ended up being… They can have their wands on them, but they cannot use them during Quidditch. They are banned.

Kat: Which is right, which is why it’s such a big deal that Harry uses his during the game.

Michael: Yeah, it’s funny, as I said it, I was kind of shocked by how perfectly wand issues in the wizarding world match up with certain issues in the real world right now. Take that as you will, listeners. Interestingly, there are a few… I won’t read them all, but there are a few fun fouls that Whisp is willing to detail. Such as, one of my favorites, “Cobbing, which applies to all players, it is the excessive use of elbows towards your opponents.” Don’t use your elbows, that’s not nice. “Quaffle-pocking, which is for Chasers only, which means tampering with the Quaffle, e.g., puncturing it so that it falls more quickly or zigzags.” And let’s see, oh, “Snitchnip, all players but the Seeker, any player other than the Seeker touching or catching the Golden Snitch.” Naughty. “Blatching…”

Kat: What if it flies into them? That’s not their fault.

Michael: I think that still counts as a foul because…

Lyle: They have to stay out of its way.

Michael: Yeah, they’re supposed to get out of the way.

Lyle: Although that would be really hard if it just smacked you on the side of the head.

Michael: But I guess that would count as a foul because that goes along with the Snitch’s flesh memory.

Kat: Oh sure, sure.

Michael: They’d have to reset the Snitch.

Lyle: That’d be annoying.

Michael: Yeah, and “Blatching, which applies to all players, which is flying with the intent to collide.” So, there are…

Kat: So, that one has been called quite a few times in Harry’s day.

Rosie and Michael: Yeah

Rosie: Definitely by the Slytherins.

Michael: There are a lot of special moves in Quidditch World Cup where there is definitely some intent to collide on the team’s parts.

Lyle: Did they ever like call it as a foul though? I can’t remember personally.

Kat: No, they never called Blatching, but numerous times people were called out.

Lyle: But they did say it was a foul, right.

Michael: They were called out for being naughty. But by 1750 – and as we were talking about in 1583, wands are banned officially from play, and by 1750 our modern rules of Quidditch are established. The last bit that we get in this section of Quidditch Through the Ages is a little bit about referees. Poor maligned referees who have quite possibly the worst role in Quidditch. Possibly the saddest one being poor Cyprian Youdle, who got a wizard card and his dates run from 1312 to 1357, tragically, he is the first referee to die in a Quidditch match, but interestingly he did not die due to any of the players. He was cursed by an unknown member of the crowd. But, of course, this was before wands were banned completely from Quidditch matches. Probably the most noteworthy thing about referees is that they have to go through incredibly intensive testing, which is required to prove their knowledge on the rules and…

[Lyle and Michael laugh]

Michael: … that they will be able to resist the excessive temptation to curse or hex the players in order to enforce the rules.

[Kat, Michael, and Rosie laugh]

Lyle: And also, remember 700 fouls. [laughs]

Michael: Yes, they are tested on those fouls to make sure that they know all of them. And as I believe was mentioned in the Harry Potter books, referees do have the unfortunate tendency to disappear and appear very far away from their Quidditch matches. Often because some unscrupulous person has turned their broom, or other object that they interact with, into a Portkey to get rid of them.

[Rosie laughs]

Lyle: I now see why Madam Hooch gets paid so much.

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: Well, yeah.

Rosie: It’s a dangerous game.

[Lyle laughs]

Michael: Not only that, she’s dealing with crazy teenagers, so…

Lyle: [laughs] Yeah.

Michael: And as we’ve seen at Hogwarts, Quidditch can get pretty out of control. Luckily, as far as we know, an axe hasn’t been brought out, but Harry did see a bloodied axe in the Room of Requirement in Book 6.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Ooh.

[Lyle laughs]

Michael: So, let’s hope that it wasn’t used in a Quidditch match.

Lyle: [laughs] The Quidditch Axe.

Michael: [laughs] But with that, we will close the book and take a little break from Quidditch Through the Ages. And we will complete the book starting with Chapter 7 and continuing through Chapter 10 in our next episode of Alohomora!

Kat: So I guess now we just have to complete the episode by thanking our fabulous guest, Lyle. Thank you so much for being here and participating and chatting Quidditch with us today.

Lyle: You’re welcome. It was tons of fun. Thanks for having me on.

Kat: Absolutely.

Michael: I wish we could all go play a game of Quidditch right now.

Lyle: Oh, that’d be so much fun.

Rosie: I know. [laughs]

Kat: I know, I’m kind of in the mood to play Quidditch. You know what? When we reach our next Patreon goal [of] $500, we can do a nice event. What we’ll do is have a Quidditch game there as part of the event. How’s that? [laughs]

Lyle: [laughs] That’d be awesome.

Rosie: Definitely.

Michael: I’ve been longing since I moved to Austin – and I live in a self-proclaimed weird city – I brought quite a few of my personal things with me. I left a lot of stuff from my Harry Potter parties behind, but one thing I did bring [was] my Quidditch hoops…

Kat: Nice.

[Rosie laughs]

Michael: … that my mother and I made. And I have been just dying to take them to Zilker Park downtown, shove them in the ground, and get out my Quaffle and just start tossing it back and forth…

Kat: I guarantee within half an hour you would have two teams full of people.

[Rosie laughs]

Michael: I feel like that would actually happen.

[Lyle laughs]

Kat: Of course it would.

Michael: Someday, when I’m feeling bold enough, I’m definitely going to pack up my Quidditch hoops and take them down to Zilker Park. Maybe that’s something I can try and coordinate with the Alohomora! fans here in Austin, because I know we have some.

Kat: Yeah, for sure. Just put it out on Twitter or something. That would be great. That’s a great idea.

Michael: I think that’s also…

Lyle: Make sure to videotape it because I want to see this. [laughs]

Kat: Yeah. [laughs]

Michael: Oh yeah, this will be documented when it happens. I suppose that’s also a good place to mention – we’ll have to start mentioning this soon because I know we’re all starting to pick our locations – but with Cursed Child coming out, I have chosen my bookstore here in Austin that I will be going to. So, if any…

Kat: Oh! Well, go for it.

Michael: I was going to say, if any of you Alohomora! fans are heading to BookPeople – the biggest independent chain in Austin – come find me. I will be dressed as Professor Lupin for the night of the Cursed Child release. So, come hang out with me; it would be great to see you in person.

Kat: Rosie, you go, because I’ve got to look up the name of the bookstore that I’m going to be at.

Rosie: [laughs] Well, I don’t know if I’m actually going to a midnight release yet. I’ve been invited to the Waterstones Piccadilly release…

Michael: Ooh.

Rosie: But the next day is actually YALC, the Young Adult Literature Convention in London…

Michael: Hmm…

Rosie: … [in] which I am running a Harry Potter party all day.

Michael: Oh.

Rosie: So I’m not sure if I can do that after being at a midnight release the night before…

Michael: That’s fine…

Rosie: … and still be alive at the end of it. [laughs]

Michael: You’re running your own Harry Potter post-midnight release.

Rosie: I am. Post-midnight release, an entire day of Harry Potter events. So if you guys are in the London area on the 31st – which is Harry’s birthday, of course – 31st of July – and you want to come and enjoy a bookish day with a load of Harry Potter activities, I believe it’s something like 12 pounds – probably completely wrong number…

[Michael laughs]

Rosie: … somewhere underneath 20 pounds for a day ticket to YALC at London Film & Comic Con. And come and find me and do lots of Harry Potter geeky things, because it will be really, really fun.

Michael: Sounds so fun.

Kat: And I’m going to be celebrating – well, I say “celebrating” with quotes around it – the Cursed Child release in Boston. And at the moment I can’t remember the name of the bookstore, but our senior journalist, Jessica, works there as well. So we will be having a little official MuggleNet party; we’re going to have some trivia and some prizes and stuff. So if you’re in the Boston area, definitely look up that bookstore – which I will maybe post on my Twitter, because I can’t think of the name…

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: I am the worst marketing director in the world…

Michael: No, it’s cool…

Kat: … but yeah.

Michael: We’ll keep reminding you all as the weeks leading up to Cursed Child come up. We will keep dropping reminders of where we’re going to be.

Kat: And MuggleNet is putting together an article of Cursed Child release parties around the world, so be on the lookout for that as well.

Michael: And of course, as we have discussed and have officially decided, we will be reading and examining Cursed Child on Alohomora!

Lyle: I’m excited for that. That’ll be awesome.

[Rosie laughs]

Michael: Oh, boy! [laughs]

Kat: Yeah, one of us needs to see it. Oh, Alison will have seen it by then, so…

Michael: Yeah, Alison is going to see it.

Kat: Wonderful, cool.

Michael: Got it covered.

Kat: Good, good.

Rosie: And of course if you guys cannot go out to a bookstore and find one of us, you can of course come on to the show to talk to us instead.

Michael: Yay!

Rosie: Our Topic Submit page is now up on the main site, as it has been for several, several weeks now. So go and suggest your topics. We’ve had several that will be quite good ideas…

Michael: Oh, yeah.

Rosie: … based on this show alone.

[Michael laughs]

Rosie: So please, please, please do send in things that you would like to talk about. Same drill as usual: if you’ve got a set of maybe Apple headphones – not a sponsor…

[Kat laughs]

Rosie: … anything with a microphone and headphones, you are all set. No fancy equipment needed, just a decent laptop with an Internet connection. And come and chat with us; we would love to talk to you.

Kat: We have only one episode left before we start topic episodes, I just realized.

Michael: Oh boy, oh boy! As I’ve been trying to make sure to ask our guests, Lyle, do you approve of this newer format of Alohomora!? Did it feel just as good as being, perhaps, on a book discussion episode of the main series?

Lyle: Oh yeah, it was tons of fun, especially Quidditch, just because I’ve played sports all my life. So there were a lot of things I could relate it to, and so it was a lot of fun just to get into different topics. I do love talking about anything Harry Potter, and this one was especially a lot of fun.

Michael: Good. So far all of the guests have given us a “yes” for new format, so yes, come be on the show. [laughs]

Kat: And if you want to express your love for our new format over on Twitter, you can do so at @AlohomoraMN, or on; our website, as you know, is and you can always send us an audioBoom, which you can do for free over at Just keep your message under 60 seconds, and you might hear yourself on a future episode.

Michael: And one more time we want to remind you, listeners, to check out our Patreon. You can sponsor us at for as low as a dollar a month. And as we announced at the beginning of the show, we have hit our $400 goal, so Rosie and I are now going to try and figure out exactly how a Let’s Play of Harry Potter would work across the…

Kat: Correction: Kat bought a version of the game for $6.50 on eBay twenty minutes ago, so it’ll be Michael, Rosie, and Kat. [laughs]

Michael: [laughs] It’s happening. [laughs] But yes, we will try and figure out how these Let’s Plays are going to work for some of the fantastic entries and the not so fantastic entries into the Harry Potter video games series. And there are other perks available as well from our Patreon page, so make sure and check that out. Once again: But for now we are mounting our very comfortable Firebolts and flying off from this episode. I’m Michael Harle.

Kat: I’m Kat Miller.

Rosie: And I am Rosie Morris. Thank you for listening to episode…

Michael: 195…

Rosie: … of Alohomora!

[Sound of a Quidditch crowd and a whistle]

Kat: Open the…

[Sound of a Portkey and Bludger strike]

Kat: … Dumbledore?

[Show music plays in between wind sounds in the background]

Lyle: You should be calling a foul or something beforehand so they know that you’re a referee.

Kat: Oh, okay. So then, Patrick, put in a whistle. Like a [whistles].

Michael: Yeah.

Lyle: Yeah.

Kat: [whistles] Open the… and then, pop! Dumbledore… Okay, how’s that? Okay.

[Lyle laughs]

Kat: Or maybe someone else whistles, so it doesn’t feel like it’s me.

[Lyle laughs]

Michael: Umm… [clears throat and then whistles]

Kat: Open the…

Michael: Poof!

Kat: … Dumbledore?

[Michael laughs]

Lyle: I’ve always wondered how you guys come up with these.

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: Some very intensive process.

Kat: Sometimes they’re quick and easy and sometimes they’re not.

[Lyle and Michael laugh]

Lyle: I love the editors putting them together lately with all of the different ones. I love that.

Kat: Yeah, we have awesome editors.

Michael: Yeah, that was great. And actually, speaking of brooms, that… well, actually no, lies. That would’ve been a good segue, but we haven’t talked about Dumbledore yet. Never mind, go ahead, Rosie. [laughs] Damn it.

[Sound of a Portkey and Bludger strike]