Transcript – Episode 196

[Show music begins]

Michael Harle: This is Episode 196 of Alohomora! for June 25, 2016.

[Show music continues]

Michael: Welcome, listeners, back to another episode of Alohomora!, currently’s global reread of the Harry Potter school books. And we are on our last episode of the last school book. I’m Michael Harle.

Lauren Littler: I’m Lauren Littler.

Shannen Michaelsen: I’m Shannen Michaelsen. Our guest this week is Megan Foster. Megan, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Megan Foster: Well, I am a Ravenclaw, and I live in San Francisco…

Michael: Ooh.

Megan: Yes, I am sitting here in my “Bell is a Ravenclaw” shirt…

Shannen: Ah…

[Michael laughs]

Megan: I was going to wear my Snitch earrings… oh no, I am still wearing them. I thought they might interfere with my headphones and cause sound, but apparently not. I’ve got my Ravenclaw mug that I got at the Wizarding World [of Harry Potter], and I have my Ravenclaw water bottle. I’m very Ravenclaw today.

Michael: Oh my goodness. I love that you’re wearing Snitch earrings…

Megan: Yes!

Michael: And if we do hear them, that’s fine. It’s just the little fluttering of Snitch earrings, right?

Megan: Yes. [laughs]

Michael: That’s perfect. That’s perfect for today’s episode. And Megan, can you briefly summarize for us your history with Harry Potter?

Megan: Yeah. So, I am one of those people who saw the movies first…

Michael: Oh, you’re one of “those” people…

Megan: Yeah, I’m one of “those” people!

[Michael laughs]

Megan: I saw the movies first, for the most part. I grew up in a Christian home and it was… the initial reaction [was], “Oh, witchcraft! Stay away, it’s evil!”

[Michael laughs]

Megan: And then my dad actually saw the first two movies on a flight back from Scotland on a business trip…

Michael: Oh!

Megan: … and as soon as he saw them he was like, “Oh, no, no, no… These are fine.” So he immediately rented them when he got back, and my brother and I watched them with him and just… of course, instant love. And I sort of waited to read the books because I wanted to keep liking the movies, and so I waited and waited… I know, I’m weird. I’m so weird.

[Megan and Michael laugh]

Megan: But when I finally got to my senior year in high school, it was a couple of months away from Deathly Hallows: Part 1, so I was like, “Okay, okay, I need to read them now. Because I definitely want to be able to go to a midnight release for the Deathly Hallows movies. So I can’t be worried about spoilers!”

[Michael and Shannen laugh]

Megan: So I read them, and I don’t know how, but I had managed to make it all the way there without any idea what was going to happen in Book 7.

Michael: Well…

Lauren: Oh, wow.

Megan: The only spoiler that I ever came across was that Dumbledore died. Not that Snape killed Dumbledore, just that Dumbledore died.

Michael: [laughs] How unusual.

Megan: That’s the only spoiler. I don’t know how I managed that other than just every time people started talking, I was like, “Wait! No, no no! I haven’t read them! Stop!”

[Michael laughs]

Megan: But yeah, now I’ve been to two LeakyCons…

Michael: Wow.

Megan: … and actually I met you at LeakyCon 2014 in Orlando, Michael. And we talked for [about] an hour after the podcast…

Michael: [in a high voice] Oh, you’re that Megan!

Megan: Yeah, hi!

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: Listeners, Megan did not tell… This is the second time this has happened to me, where a listener does not tell me until the very end or the very beginning as we’re recording and catch[es] me by surprise. It’s always so pleasant… Oh my gosh, yes, Megan! I totally… that is so great that you are that Megan, because I have the picture that we took together.

Megan: Oh yeah, when you were Lupin and I was Tardis… or was that before I changed into my…?

Michael: Yeah, you hadn’t gotten into your costume yet – I was Lupin – because it was right after the panel.

Megan: Yes.

Michael: But yeah, after that I couldn’t find you online anywhere to show you that we took the picture.

Megan: Oh no!

Michael: So I was like, “Oh no! I don’t know who this girl was.”

[Megan laughs]

Michael: And it was funny because I didn’t even know your name because I could just see your LeakyCon name tag…

Megan: Yeah.

Michael: … but it was too shiny in the picture.

[Megan and Michael laugh]

Michael: So… oh my gosh, that is fantastic! Oh my gosh, I don’t even… I can’t continue with this show now, you guys, because I am just flabbergasted…

Lauren: Oh no, we need you!

Michael: [laughs] Well, yeah, there is… It’s worth noting, listeners, I am probably the only regular familiar voice you recognize this week, because I have some very helpful hands with me. First of all, I’d like to introduce Lauren Littler…

Lauren: Hello.

Michael: … one of our newest interns at MuggleNet. Lauren, can you tell us just a little bit about yourself and your Hogwarts House? That’s always important.

Lauren: Well, I am a loud and proud Hufflepuff.

Michael: Hey!

Lauren: I swear, my heart beats gold and black.

[Megan and Michael laugh]

Michael: Truly.

Lauren: See, isn’t that always the way? Somebody asks you something about yourself and you just go blank.

Michael: And you’re like, “Who am I?”

Lauren: Existential crisis right now, everybody. Well, that’s the only thing I know at the moment – I am a Hufflepuff.

Michael: Which Harry Potter book is your favorite?

Lauren: Oh no, that’s [like] asking which one of my fur babies is my favorite.

[Michael laughs]

Lauren: Okay, I will always have a love for Sorcerer’s Stone because it was not only the first Harry Potter book that I read, but it was also… I was also the only one in my elementary school who was reading Harry Potter or who knew about Harry Potter, and I remembered trying to talk about it and everybody was looking at me like I was crazy.

Michael: Oh, check you out, Lauren. You were…

[Lauren and Michael laugh]

Michael: Now we’re going to get into some stuff about jumping on bandwagons later in the show.

[Lauren laughs]

Michael: You are not one of those people. Clearly, I’m impressed.

Lauren: Yeah.

[Michael laughs]

Lauren: But then one day I go to my backpack, and my copy of Sorcerer’s Stone is gone. Somebody stole it out of my backpack and I never saw it again.

Michael: What?!

Shannen: Oh my God.

Lauren: So that’s why I love Sorcerer’s Stone, because it has that extra special place in my heart. Somebody wanted to read this enough [that] they stole it from me.

Michael: We have to make a “Have you seen this book?” poster.

Lauren: [laughs] Oh my gosh, I should have thought of that.

Shannen: And everybody will be like, “Yeah, I have seen that book…”

[Lauren and Michael laugh]

Shannen: “It’s the biggest bestseller ever.”

Michael: [laughs] She was so early to the party, she might have had a first edition or something like that…

Megan: Oh my God.

Shannen: Ooh!

Michael: So we want to thank you though, Lauren, for stepping in. I really appreciate it.

Lauren: Absolutely. Happy to help.

Michael: And we also have to say a big hello to Shannen Michaelsen. Yay, Shannen!

Lauren and Megan: Yay!

Michael: Listeners, a lot of you listeners have been jumping back and forth between Alohomora! and our other podcast, which Shannen hosts. Shannen, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and that podcast you are on?

Shannen: Well, I’m on SpeakBeasty where we talk about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – the movie, the book, whatever.

[Michael laughs]

Shannen: We come up with some slim main discussion topics; there’s not a lot going on.

[Michael laughs]

Shannen: I personally am a Ravenclaw and…

Megan: Woo-hoo!

Shannen: What else about my Harry Potter experience? I also met Michael at a LeakyCon.

[Megan and Michael laugh]

Shannen: So that’s just a theme. I got into Harry Potter because my sister got the book from the tooth fairy.

Michael: Ooh! Wow, you had a generous tooth fairy.

Lauren: Your tooth fairy gave you books?

Shannen: I know.

Lauren: I want that tooth fairy.

[Lauren and Michael laugh]

Shannen: My sister likes to tell that story because she got it from the tooth fairy and only the first two books were out; and she finished reading it and she was like, “Mom, there’s a sequel!” And Mom was like, “Oh my gosh, it’s in the office! Here it is!”

[Lauren, Megan, and Michael laugh]

Shannen: And I didn’t really care about them because I was a baby.

[Lauren and Michael laugh]

Shannen: And they kept trying to read them to me and I was like, “This is boring!” And in the gap between Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix, they finally got me into them. Mom read all the books out loud to me, so…

Lauren and Michael: Aww!

Megan: Those are the best memories.

Michael: Well, while Shannen just said that news has been a little dry for Fantastic Beasts, make sure, listeners, to tune in to the upcoming episodes because we just got a lot of nice stuff…

Shannen: Yeah.

Michael: … just prior to recording this episode.

Shannen: Just today though, not yesterday.

[Megan and Michael laughs]

Michael: Yeah, not so much at VidCon, but we’ve already got our anger about that out.

Shannen: Yeah.

Michael: If you would like to explore that more, check out SpeakBeasty‘s YouTube [channel].

Shannen: It’s a fun time.

[Michael and Shannen laugh]

Michael: But Lauren, maybe you can remind our listeners what we will be focussing on for today’s episode.

Lauren: Absolutely Michael. This episode we’re going to be going through Chapter 7 through 10 of Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp, right, is that how you pronounce it?

Michael: That’s exactly how you pronounce it.

Megan: Sounds right to me.

Lauren: Oh, yes!

Michael: Actually, I think it’s pronounced J.K. Rowling, but it appears like Kennilworthy Whisp. Good job.

[Lauren and Megan laugh]

Shannen: Joanne Kennilworthy Whisp.

[Everyone laughs]

Lauren: There we go.

Megan: That’s it. That’s what the “K” really stands for.

Michael: Very nice. [laughs]

Lauren: So, be sure to read the chapters before listening to our discussion and over to you, Michael!

Michael: Thank you, because we want to make sure and let our listeners know that this episode is sponsored by Jolene Wilson on Patreon. Everybody, give claps for Jolene Wilson. Claps for Jolene Wilson. Thank you so much Jolene, for helping to keep Alohomora! going. And you, yes, you, listeners, can become a sponsor of Alohomora! for as little as one dollar a month. We keep releasing such special little tidbits, exclusive tidbits for our sponsors on Patreon. Previous tidbits have included a dramatic reading by me of “The Tale of the Three Brothers,” and as well as some dramatic readings of fairy-tales that we have talked about on the show as read by Rosie in an actual genuine British accent. And so those are some fantastic perks. And there will be more coming as we have announced before we recently hit our 400 dollar goal on Patreon which means that Rosie and I are going to be looking at doing some “Let’s Play” videos for Alohomora! based on the Harry Potter video games. So, thanks to you, the listeners that’s possible. And if you haven’t heard your name said on the show yet, we have a lot of sponsors that have been helping us out. Do not worry, we have plenty more shows to go and you will hear your name on an episode. So, we thank you again, Patreon sponsors, and thank you again to Jolene Wilson for helping us out. And with that, we move into our main discussion on Quidditch Through the Ages, Chapter 7 through 10. Woo!

[Lauren, Meg, and Shannen laugh]

Michael: Get out your brooms, ladies. Okay, important question, what brooms do we all own?

Shannen: Here is a funny story.

[Michael laughs]

Shannen: This is literally true though. I had a Nimbus 2000 and it broke, and my parents got me a Firebolt.

[Lauren, Megan, and Michael laugh]

Megan: You win! You win!

[Lauren and Michael laugh]

Shannen: So…

Michael: That’s kind of amazing.

[Lauren and Michael laugh]

Shannen: I don’t have them here with me though. I have got to drive to work. It’s ridiculous.

Megan: Oh, yeah.

Michael: I personally have a… it’s not official but my parents bought, quite a few years ago, this very nice sleek broom with an orangeish-goldish handle. And it had a rubber grip, black grip on it so that it was comfortable to sweep with, and I was like, “It’s a Firebolt!”

[Lauren and Megan laugh]

Michael: So [laughs] I have a Firebolt back home in Albuquerque. But I am currently broomless. I might have to look in investing in a Cleansweep because I am poor and I could probably only afford a Cleansweep now.

Lauren: Eh… Cleansweeps are pretty good.

Shannen: Yes.

Michael: Yeah… the league uses them, right?

Shannen: Mhm.

Megan: They are the cheapest.

Lauren: Exactly.

Michael: That’s right. But what we’re going to start with is exploring some teams, some Quidditch teams in Chapter 7, “Quidditch Teams of Britain and Ireland.” So the important thing to note about the “Quidditch Teams of Britain and Ireland” is that this league was established in 1674 and there are only thirteen teams because the Ministry and the International – I believe it was the International Confederation of Wizards – decided that to make sure that the Muggles didn’t notice Quidditch [was] going on, they had to restrict the number of league teams. So there are thirteen teams in the British and Irish leagues. And we start with – Mr Whisp has been very kind enough to list them all in alphabetical order. So we start with the Appleby Arrows. And by the way, ladies, feel free if we get to your favorite British and/or Irish Team, shout it out if you’re a fan, because it’s always good to know who’s a fan of what. So we start with the Appleby Arrows. No cheers for the Appleby Arrows. Okay.

[Everyone laughs]

Megan: I mean, I love the alliteration but they all kind of do alliteration, so…

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: They were founded in 1612. They are most famous for the 1932 defeat of the Vrasta – is it the Vastra or Vrasta – Vrasta Vultures. Hmm.

[Megan laughs]

Michael: The la-di-da Vultures, the Hungarian Quidditch team, in 1932. They used to shoot arrows magically out of their wands whenever their Chasers scored a goal. This practice was finally banned in 1894, so it went on for quite a while.

Lauren: Oh my.

Michael: When a referee for their match, Nugent…

Megan: Nugent…

Michael: … Nugent Potts was pierced through the nose by one of their arrows.

Megan: I mean, lucky it was just the nose, I guess?

[Megan and Michael laugh]

Michael: I was going to say!

Shannen: I would not want to be a Quidditch referee.

Megan: No!

Michael: They do have the worst job ever.

[Lauren, Meg, and Shannen laugh]

Megan: Oh my gosh.

Michael: [laughs] But really, though, by wizarding standards that’s a pretty minor injury…

Megan: True, true.

Shannen: Just by Quidditch standards… [laughs]

Michael: [laughs] True, very true. They are known for their rival… rivalry, words are hard.

[Lauren, Meg, and Shannen laugh]

Megan: They are, it’s okay.

Shannen: You’re just adding to the upcoming alliteration.

[Megan laughs]

Michael: Yes, that’s it. They are known for their rivalry with the Wimbourne Wasps which of course, we know is Ludo Bagman’s former team. But we’ll get to the Wasps a little later and we will find out exactly what that rivalry is. Next up, the Ballycastle Bats…

Lauren: Yay!

[Everyone laughs]

Megan: All right, we have a fan.

Michael: I guess we have a fan here.

Lauren: Yes, we do! [laughs]

Michael: [laughs] The Ballycastle Bats are mainly known for their mascot, Barny the Fruitbat, who was famous for his appearances in Butterbeer ads…

Megan: [laughs] I love that, it’s so real.

Lauren: Funnily enough that is exactly why I love them!

[Megan and Michael laugh]

Megan: I mean Butterbeer is a good reason.

Michael: Any fan who is a consumer of Butterbeer, right, would enjoy the Ballycastle Bats. That is pretty much their big claim to fame. They have won the Quidditch league a total of twenty seven times at the time of Mr. Whisp’s book writing. They are the second most successful team in the league, or in the league’s history, rather. But really everybody mostly knows them for Barny the Fruitbat.

Megan: Upstaged by a bat.

[Lauren and Michael laugh]

Megan: “Yeah the team, yeah they’re great. But the bat…”

Michael: “But the bat, but the mascot…”

[Everyone laughs]

Shannen: I just see the bat from Anastasias…

Michael: Oh, Bartok?

Megan: Oh my gosh, yes!

Lauren: Oh no! Now I can’t unsee it!

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: I’m trying to make sure I pronounce… I want to say that the town’s name is Caerphilly…

Shannen: That’s probably wrong.

Lauren: Carefully?

Megan: Carefully? [laughs]

Michael: Carefully. [laughs]

Megan: Carefully Catapults.

[Lauren and Meg laugh]

Megan: Oh my gosh, if that’s how it’s pronounced, I love it.

Michael: I watched a video to make sure I pronounced it right and I kind of think I forgot. I wanted to say it was Caerphilly. The Caerphilly Catapults who were founded in 1402. Now we talked about this individual who they are famous for last week. This is the team that had [the] player Dangerous Dai Llewellyn. Sadly, the fate of Dangerous Dai Llewellyn was that he was eaten by a Chimaera on a holiday in Greece. That is a very horrible fate.

Lauren: Ouch.

Megan: That is a Gryffindor worthy death.

Michael: Yeah.

Lauren: Definitely.

Megan: I don’t know what house he is but…

Michael: Shannen, as an expert of Fantastic Beasts, can you tell us just a tad bit about Chimaeras?

Shannen: Nope.

Michael: Fabulous.

[Everyone laughs]

Megan: All right.

Michael: All right. Since I don’t have my copy of Fantastic Beasts right next to me…

Shannen: Mine is across the room.

Michael: [laughs] So far away… yes okay. Chimaera [pronounces as “Kai-meh-ra”] or a Chimaera [pronounces as “Chi-meh-ra”], depending on, I guess, how you choose to pronounce it, is a magical beast with the head of a lion, the body of a what is it, a goat?

Shannen: Yeah.

Michael: And the tail of a something horrible. Oh, a dragon or a bird…

Megan: Ooh!

Michael: … is, I guess, what their tail usually is.

Lauren: I thought it ended in a snake’s head.

Michael: A snake’s head? Okay, you know what? Now I’m getting up.

Shannen: Oh my God.

Michael: I’m getting up to get it.

[Megan laughs]

Shannen: I think Chimaera can be used to just refer to a beast that is multiple creatures of any kind.

Megan: Could be.

Lauren: All pieced together by magic or something?

Shannen: Yeah, I think the word can be used that way.

Lauren: As long as it’s [a] monstrous fire-breathing hybrid.

[Megan laughs]

Shannen: Mhm.

Lauren: All right.

Michael: [hums] Newt Scamander, help us out.

Lauren: Yay, Newt!

Shannen: Hooray!

Michael: Yay, Newt!

Shannen: He’s way cooler than Kennilworthy Whisp. Just saying.

[Lauren and Michael laugh]

Michael: A Chimaera – so Shannen will immediately know the meaning of this – the Ministry of Magic classification is five X’s.

Shannen: That’s bad.

Michael: He’s dangerous. Don’t mess with the Chimaera. It is a rare Greek monster with a lion’s head, a goat’s body and a dragon’s tail.

Lauren: Okay.

Michael: “Vicious and bloodthirsty, the Chimaera is extremely dangerous. There is only one known instance of the successful slaying of a Chimaera and the unlucky wizard concerned fell to his death from his winged horse shortly afterwards, exhausted by his efforts.” Wow. Chimaera eggs are classified as Grade A Non-Tradeable Goods and, as Harry and Ron noted at the bottom, “So Hagrid will be getting one any second now.”

[Lauren and Megan laugh]

Megan: Yep, yep. So true.

Shannen: I’m pretty sure in mythology it can be just a creature made up of a bunch of different kinds of creatures but it’s usually a lion, a goat and a snake.

Megan: Yeah.

Michael: Okay.

Lauren: I think so. That’s what I’m seeing over here in the Greek mythology part.

Megan: I know there’s – if anybody has watched Full Metal Alchemist – there’s definitely a Chimaera in that series.

Lauren: No! Not Nina!

Michael: Ooh.

Megan: And it was a lion’s head, dog’s body and little girl, which was horrible.

Lauren: No!

Megan: It was so horrible. Anyway, let’s move on.

Michael: That’s terrifying.

Lauren: God, I hated that part! God

Megan: I know! Terrible.

Michael: [laughs] And poor “Dangerous” Dai Llewellyn, at least his sacrifice wasn’t for naught. The first floor ward of St. Mungo’s, as we discovered in Order of the Phoenix, was named after him and fittingly, it treats creature-induced injuries.

[Megan laughs]

Shannen: Well, they didn’t do a very good job.

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: I was going to say, not exactly fitting considering that being eaten by a Chimaera is not really something treatable at the hospital.

Megan: Not really.

Michael: As Quidditch Through the Ages reveals, there is also the Dangerous Dai Commemorative Medal award for players who commit the most exciting and/or foolhardy risks during the league season.

Shannen: Because that’s what we want to encourage.

Megan: I mean, wizards.

Lauren: Absolutely.

Michael: Wizards would.

Megan: Yeah.

Shannen: I know. They have no regard for personal safety. Very little.

Michael: I think we get the sense in this second half of the book that, especially by modern times of Quidditch, there’s a need for the game to be visually exciting. So it’s like, “Well, you guys are getting paid to do this so maybe you should do something interesting while you do it,” I guess is the idea.

Lauren: My question is: Would Harry be awarded that one if he were ever to become a pro player?

Shannen: Yes.

Megan and Michael: Yeah.

Lauren: I figured. [laughs]

Michael: I could see that.

Megan: Would he get bonus points for all of his reckless behavior in the fight against Voldemort? That’s what I wonder.

Lauren: Ooh.

Megan: Maybe it’s not all in the game but he’s just a reckless guy.

Lauren: Technically, it says if it’s during the season.

Megan: Ah! Dang it.

Michael: [laughs] So if you’re fighting dark wizards while…

Megan: While playing on the league team in season.

Shannen: In season!

[Lauren and Shannen laugh]

Megan: Yeah, that’ll be great. “We’re on the run from Voldemort but let’s go to this game now. I’ve got to be in this game, guys.” [laughs]

Michael: Hey, he did go the Quidditch World Cup in 1994…

Shannen: Yeah.

Megan: True.

Michael: … so it’s not beyond the realm of possibility.

Shannen: A lot of exciting stuff happened at his Quidditch games that I’m sure [were] not normal.

[Megan and Michael laugh]

Michael: True!

Lauren: That is very true.

Megan: Yep.

Michael: Do you think that Ginny would have ever won the Dangerous Dai medal during her career?

Shannen: Hmm, maybe.

Megan: Eh, maybe.

Shannen: She would do something cool on purpose.

Lauren: Yeah.

Megan: I feel like she’s more pragmatic than Harry.

Shannen: Yeah.

Lauren: Yeah.

Megan: She would do something reckless if she was really confident she could do it and just be like, “Yeah, I did that. So?”

Lauren: Exactly. Harry does it by accident.

Megan: [laughs] Yeah.

Michael: Yeah.

Megan: Harry, flying by the seat of his pants.

Shannen: “I guess I ate a snitch.”

[Everyone laughs]

Megan: Yep.

Lauren: I guess my arm’s broken.

[Megan and Michael laugh]

Megan: That wasn’t his fault. [laughs]

Michael: [laughs] So Harry, if he were to join the team, I guess he would have probably joined the Caerphilly Catapults because it just fits with the risk taking that they are known for doing.

[Megan laughs]

Michael: Now, a team that we are all tragically familiar with…

[Lauren and Megan laugh]

Michael: … the Chudley Cannons, bless their little hearts.

Shannen: Bless them.

Megan: Yes.

Michael: We don’t have a founding date for them but their golden days ended in 1892.

Megan: Wah wah.

Shannen: That’s probably when they were founded.

[Everyone laughs]

Shannen: Ouch.

Lauren: Ouch! Ow.

Michael: Not so, because I believe they had won over 20 games in the league by that point, right?

Megan: I think so.

Shannen: Which is a pretty good number.

Megan: Yeah!

Michael: Yeah, that was a nice streak so, I can see why everybody’s waiting for the good old days to come back.

Lauren: That’s a big streak.

[Megan laughs]

Michael: As we know, it is Ron’s favorite team. Sadly, their motto changed from, “We shall conquer” to, “Let’s all just keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.”

[Michael and Shannen laugh]

Megan: I love the motto! It’s so great.

Lauren: That motto is amazing.

Shannen: I think that’s a pretty good motto.

Megan: Yeah!

Lauren: Doesn’t that just cover the theme of the seventh book?

[Everyone laughs]

Megan: Yes. Yes.

Lauren: Let’s just wing it and hope it all works out.

[Megan laughs]

Michael: I was thinking about this in terms of Ron and it says a lot about his character and it is quite fitting that he is a Chudley Cannons fan, right?

Lauren: It really does!

Megan: Yeah. He’s a fan of the underdog.

Lauren: Definitely.

Michael: Yeah…

Megan: Yeah.

Michael: … because he is the underdog, bless his little heart, little red-headed heart.

[Megan laughs]

Shannen: And they’re orange and he’s got red hair.

Megan: Yeah, it just had to happen.

Lauren: There’s that too.

[Megan and Michael laugh]

Michael: If we’re looking for surface reasons yeah, I suppose that helps too.

Megan: I love [how] there’s some reference in one of the books, something about he got a Chudley Cannons hat and it clashed gloriously with his hair or something.

[Michael laughs]

Shannen: Yeah. Just like, “Oh Jo.”

Lauren: Yeah, he got that for Christmas one year from Hermione.

Megan: Yeah! What was it, fourth or fifth year?

Michael: That’s right. That’s right.

Megan: It wouldn’t have been fifth. I don’t know.

Lauren: I think it was the fourth year, because that was the Quidditch year.

Shannen: That would make sense. Yeah.

Megan: Maybe third or fourth. I don’t know.

Michael: So many good Christmases. So many good presents.

Megan: Yes.

Shannen: That are never mentioned again.

[Everyone laughs]

Megan: The Firebolt – that gets mentioned again.

Shannen: All right, that’s true.

Lauren: Yeah, that just steals all the glory.

[Megan laughs]

Michael: And the Chudley Cannons at least can say that they got a shout out from Dumbledore in the introduction to Quidditch Through the Ages.

Megan: True.

Michael: But not in the most flattering way considering that Dumbledore, as many have said, pretty much reminded us that they will never ever win.

Megan: The good days are gone.

Michael: Keep on trucking, Chudley Cannons! As far as we know from the current information, they still have not won and I believe Rowling told somebody because somebody asked her, “Will the Chudley Cannons ever win?” And I think she said something along the lines of, “Oh bless, they’ll never win unless they completely change their entire team lineup.”

Megan: Oh!

[Lauren and Megan laugh]

Michael: And she also said, “Unless they also drink a lot of Felix Felicis,” which of course we know is not legal.

Megan: No.

Lauren: Not legal in a game atmosphere.

Michael: Nope. Not going to happen. But, going to the opposite end of things, we have the Falmouth Falcons. Not the Foulmouth, listeners. Falmouth, although they are quite foul in their playing tactics. They are known as very hard players in the game of Quidditch, mostly thanks to Beaters Kevin and Karl Broadmoor who caused the team 14 suspensions between 1958 to 1969.

Lauren: Wow.

Michael: Their motto, fittingly, is quite a bit the opposite of the Cannons, a little more confident: “Let us win, but if we cannot win, let us break a few heads.”

[Lauren laughs]

Michael: Beautiful.

Megan: That’s a good motto.

Lauren: That is fantastic.

Michael: True poetry right there.

Megan: I think the mottos are becoming my favorite part of this whole list…

[Everyone laughs]

Megan: … because Jo is so great at just these clever little… [laughs]

Michael: Ridiculous mottos.

Megan: “Let’s just keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.” “Let us win, but if we cannot win, let us break a few heads.”

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: Now, I’m expecting a few cheers for this particular team: the Holyhead Harpies…

[Everyone cheers]

Michael: … founded in 1203…

Shannen: That was a long time ago.

Megan: It is.

Lauren: Wow.

Michael: Interesting date, considering that they have always been, and appears always will be, an all-female Quidditch team.

Shannen: Yeah!

Megan: Girl power!

Lauren: Huh.

Michael: [It] is their major claim to fame. Yeah, I did find it interesting that they were founded in 1203 and that ostensibly, that practice has been in place since then. Because 1203 was not exactly the time that you would think an all-female Quidditch team would be.

Shannen: Not really, no.

Lauren: Well, that’s true. But, like you guys were mentioning in the previous episode, it does seem that wizards don’t really care about gender.

Michael: Mhm.

Megan: At least not as much.

Lauren: But unless it’s Quidditch, which it did mention, I think this was just them fighting back against the males of the time, which were saying, “No females on Quidditch teams.” “Well, screw you! We’ll go form our own team!”

Michael: Yeah.

Megan: Pretty much.

Michael: I’m pretty in love with that idea. So take that, Mr. Whisp, after last week…

[Megan laughs]

Shannen: Yeah.

Michael: … being all like, “Beaters… usually aren’t women because they need to be strong!” So… no.

Megan: It’s like, “Ugh!”

Lauren: Boo!

Shannen: I’ll beat him!

[Everyone laughs]

Megan: Yeah, let’s get all the female Beaters who have been on the Harpies and just go and beat him.

[Everyone laughs]

Megan: It’s like, “What do you mean we’re not strong enough?”

Michael: [laughs] They are not only the only all-female Quidditch team in the league; they are considered to have played “the finest Quidditch game ever seen”…

Megan: Yeah!

Lauren: Ooh!

Michael: … back in 1953 against the Heidelberg “Harries”, I believe their name was.

Shannen: What does that even mean?

Megan: Harriers?

Michael: Harriers… where is that? Yeah, Harriers. Where did that ‘R’ go? Harriers – the Heidelberg Harriers.

Lauren: I’m pretty sure that’s the German National Team.

Megan: Mhm.

Michael: Yes, yes. I believe they’ll be coming up later, so yes.

Shannen: What is “the finest Quidditch game ever seen”?

Michael: It was quite fine apparently.

[Lauren laughs]

Shannen: Like, what about it?

[Michael laughs]

Megan: I’m guessing really great flying.

Lauren: I know, we all really need those details.

Shannen: Did nobody die?

[Everyone laughs]

Megan: Well, it was 1953, so I think it was probably…

Lauren: No, I know: no referees disappeared.

[Megan laughs]

Shannen: No referees disappeared. No injuries. No fouls.

Michael: I would say that by the wizarding standard, the “finest Quidditch game” would be probably one of the most exciting, edge-of-your-seat entertaining Quidditch…

Shannen: Yeah.

Megan: Yeah. With some really fantastic flying.

Michael: That’s what I assume.

Lauren: Well, seeing how it is in the more modern setting… yeah, it would have to be the most thrilling one ever seen.

Michael: Yeah. I know she hates writing Quidditch, but Jo, if you ever are bored someday and you’re looking for something to do, we wouldn’t mind hearing about this Quidditch match.

Lauren: This Quidditch match would be the Quidditch match to hear about.

Shannen: I wouldn’t mind a Quidditch movie about the Holyhead Harpies. Just saying.

Megan: That would be awesome.

Lauren: Woo!

Michael: That would be cool.

Lauren: I am so on board for that.

Shannen: 1950s Holyhead Harpies…

Megan: Oh, man.

Shannen: … preparing for the finest Quidditch game ever seen.

Megan: Oh my gosh. Oh, I need this in my life!

[Michael laughs]

Lauren: I am so on board for that.

Shannen: They can practice Quidditch in their ’50s dresses.

Megan: Yes!

[Lauren squeals]

Shannen: That would be so cute.

[Michael laughs]

Lauren: That would be so amazing.

Michael: We want this movie so bad.

Lauren: So bad. Oh my gosh, I didn’t know I wanted it until you told me about it.

Megan: Yep.

Michael: We actually have some finer details too about this team.

Lauren: Ooh!

Michael: They were previously captained by Gwenog Jones, who was born in 1968 and is currently still alive. As we know about Gwenog, she played one of the Beater positions on the Holyhead Harpies team, but as of 2014, she retired and became the manager of the team. She is also infamous for potentially being the reason that the International Confederation of Wizards’ Quidditch Committee banned what they refer to as “managerial trash-talking.”

Megan: Uh… what?

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: She is known for her mouth and for her threats. Our last canon sighting of her was… she was in custody after attempting to curse the face off of Brazil’s team manager, Jose Barboza, who had referred to her team as a bunch of hags.

Megan: Oh, was that the Pottermore thing…

Shannen: She’s my hero.

Megan: … where J.K. Rowling was doing the World Cup updates throughout? Okay, yes. Ah, such fond memories.

Michael: Yes, yes.

Megan: So wonderful.

Michael: So, hopefully…

Lauren: Can we just have a movie…

Megan: Yes!

Lauren: … about Gwenog Jones?

Michael: [laughs] She does sound pretty cool. Although Hermione did note in Half-Blood Prince that she seemed a little full of herself. But as we know, Hermione is not very interested in celebrities.

Megan: Unless they’re Gilderoy Lockhart.

Michael: Or Quidditch!

[Lauren and Michael laugh]

Michael: And of course, it is also worth noting that Miss Ginny Weasley previously played Chaser for the Holyhead Harpies after her time at Hogwarts. Of course, she is now currently a Quidditch correspondent for the Daily Prophet. But yeah, she did have tenure for a little bit as a Chaser for the Holyhead Harpies. And we move on to the Kenmare Kestrels – I’m going to get rid of this question at the beginning because I realized why that’s not relevant – but what’s interesting about them is that their Keeper and captain, Darren O’Hare, was credited with the “Hawk-shead” Attacking – Hawks-head, rather – Attacking Formation, which we will see a little bit about in Chapter 10 when we look at some Quidditch moves. The Kenmare Kestrels – it’s potentially possible… now this is a question that because… [laughs] I don’t understand sports…

[Megan laughs]

Michael: That’s important to lay out.

[Megan laughs]

Michael: And what I slowly realized is that league teams do not go into international [teams]. League teams usually… what it would appear to happen is that players from league teams are chosen to form an international team, and that international team is made to represent in the International Quidditch World Cup.

Lauren: I’m pretty sure that’s what happens in Quidditch, at least…

Michael: Yes.

Lauren: … because I don’t know sports either.

Michael: [laughs] That would seem to be the case because otherwise, it would seem that the Kenmare Kestrels were actually the players in Goblet of Fire because leprechauns are their mascot. But it does not appear to be the case because when we get into player names and discrepancies between the league teams versus international teams for Quidditch World Cup, they don’t line up. And Quidditch World Cup, the video game, also implies that the players are sourced from these league teams. So you build your team based on what you see from the league team, I’m assuming how it goes. Maybe our listeners who know the sports can help us out with that because I don’t understand sports.

Megan: Me, neither. It’s okay.

Michael: So, sorry about that. [laughs]

[Lauren laughs]

Michael: Oh, well. Yay! Go, sports teams!

Megan: Score the points! Do the thing!

Michael: So…

Megan: Oh, wait. Before we go on, I’d just like to point out [that] the Kenmare Kestrels [are] known for the leprechaun displays “and the accomplished harp playing of their supporters.” So, just gathering at a Quidditch game, you bring harps and play harps?

[Michael laughs]

Megan: That is just the most random tidbit, and I love it, and it just needs to be acknowledged.

Michael: Hey…

Lauren: That’s amazing.

Shannen: True.

Michael: Sports peeps are hardcore.

Megan: Yes.

Michael: That’s one thing I do know about sports is that the audience gets very hardcore when they’re passionate.

Megan: Yeah. As I’ve said, I’m in San Francisco, and there’s been a lot of Warriors craziness going on because they were almost going to win! And meanwhile, I was just like, “Okay…”

[Michael laughs]

Megan: … “When should I leave so that I can avoid the Warriors traffic?”

Michael: [laughs] Can you imagine? At least that’s one nice thing about leaving a Quidditch game is no traffic, right?

Megan: [laughs] Yeah, just everybody Apparates away!

Michael: [laughs] Nice and easy.

Megan: Yep.

Michael: But we go on to the Montrose Magpies, who are most famous for their players who basically want Quidditch to be more challenging.

[Everyone laughs]

Megan: So great.

Michael: Eunice Murray (died 1942) campaigned for a faster Snitch because, “This is just too easy.”

[Lauren laughs]

Michael: Also, famously…

Megan: Like a boss.

Michael: … Hamish MacFarlan, captain from 1957 to 1968, later became Head of the Ministry’s Department of Magical Game and Sports. And I just thought that was nice because we have gotten a few multiple examples now, including from Gwenog Jones as well as Ginny, that there seems to be a lot of places to move to after you’re in Quidditch.

Megan: Yeah.

Lauren: That’s true.

Michael: Lots of job possibilities.

Megan: That is very refreshing, since…

Michael: Well, yeah. Because I was thinking about that in terms of previous episodes of Alohomora! where we have talked about [the] lack of jobs in the Harry Potter world and job training. And I’m just like, “Geez, there’s a lot of easy ways to move up or move on when you’re in Quidditch.” So that’s comforting to know. There are future careers; you don’t have to just retire. So that’s comforting.

Shannen: But I would just retire. This is a horrible game.

[Everyone laughs]

Shannen: Sounds exhausting.

Megan: I don’t think I’d want to be Head of Magical Games and Sports because that just sounds like a really stressful job with how excited people get about Quidditch and how violent they get about Quidditch.

Michael: Yeah, being in Quidditch bureaucracy sounds pretty difficult actually…

Shannen: Yeah.

Michael: … in some ways just as, if not more, challenging than playing it.

Shannen: [laughs] Yeah.

Lauren: Mhm.

Michael: [laughs] So, next team: Pride of Portree founded in 1292. Their captain… well, no, she wasn’t their captain. She was captain in the international league, I believe.

Lauren: Okay.

Michael: But Catriona McCormack…

Megan: I think it’s [pronounces as “Katrina”]. I’ve seen it spelled that way before, and I’m pretty sure it’s [Katrina].

Michael: That’s a fun way to spell [Katrina].

Megan: Yes.

Michael: Thank you, England and Ireland, for giving me such great spellings to screw up on this international podcast. I apologize.

[Everyone laughs]

Megan: English doesn’t follow rules…

Michael: Nah.

Megan: Neither does English borrow things. It follows other languages down dark alleys and steals loose grammar.

Michael: It’s a hot mess.

Megan: [laughs] I was an English major, can you tell?

Michael: [laughs] So Catriona…

Megan: Yeah, I think.

Michael: … Catriona McCormack, she did captain the team in the league to two wins. Her daughter currently plays Keeper for the team as she herself has retired. And, fun little tidbit, her son is Kirley Duke (born in 1971) and is the lead guitarist for the Weird Sisters.

Megan: I love that his name is Kirley.

Shannen: Rock on.

Michael: Yeah. [laughs]

Megan: Kirley Duke, that is such a rocker name.

Shannen: “What should I name my son? Kirley.”

[Michael laughs]

Lauren: Maybe he had curls right when he was born?

Shannen: Ooh.

Lauren: Maybe?

Shannen: Or maybe that’s his stage name. There’s a different last name.

Megan: Ooh, that’s true.

Michael: What if he…

Lauren and Megan: That is true.

Michael: On his wizard card…

[Lauren and Megan laugh]

Michael: His wizard card is pretty fantastic. If you haven’t seen it, he’s got a long mullet and he’s wearing a fluffy, pink dress with puffy shoulders.

Megan: Oh my gosh.

Lauren: Oh my God. [laughs]

Megan: Oh my gosh.

Michael: And his guitar is purple. [laughs]

Megan: [laughs] Oh my gosh. He’s like a lamb rocker.

Michael: Yeah, yeah.

Shannen: I need this card.

[Megan and Michael laugh]

Megan: Me too.

[Michael laughs]

Megan: That reminds me of the time…

Michael: Well, if you guys ever encounter me at a convention again and I have my wizard cards, make sure to ask me for the Kirley Duke card.

Megan: [gasps] Oh my gosh, I’m going to do that!

[Michael laughs]

Megan: I don’t know when I’ll be at another LeakyCon or GeekyCon, but I will have to do that. I will hunt you down!

Michael: Shannen, you have some of my wizard cards, don’t you?

Shannen: I don’t have any of yours.

Michael: Oh, you don’t?

Shannen: No, I just have cards from the Chocolate Frogs, but not the Wizarding World. Not the Universal Chocolate Frogs, the ones…

Megan: Oh, the ones that are like… the Nestle or whatever, yeah.

Shannen: Yeah.

Michael: Yeah, the classic.

Shannen: Yes, pre-movies.

Michael: Pre-movies, yes.

Megan: Yes.

Shannen: I think I have all of those actually, so…

Lauren: Ooh, wow. Impressive.

Michael: Keep those in pristine condition. They’ll probably be worth millions soon.

Megan: Yeah. [laughs]

Shannen: They’re all in the original plastic wrapping.

[Michael laughs]

Lauren: Oh, wow.

Shannen: Because you can still see what they say, so…

Lauren: Yeah, why not?

Michael: [laughs] So we move on to a team we’ve probably heard about before: Puddlemere United, founded in 1163. They are the oldest league team. As we find out in Goblet of Fire, Oliver Wood becomes a reserve player for them in 1994. Hopefully he made it on to the actual team…

[Shannen laughs]

Michael: … as like a legit player, because a reserve player is somebody who’s under contract but they don’t actually play.

Megan: Yeah, they’re the benchwarmers.

Michael: Yeah, so he was a benchwarmer. But I feel like Oliver would deserve more than that, and as far as we know, he didn’t die during the Battle of Hogwarts.

Megan: True.

Michael: So, hopefully he got back into his Quidditch career.

Megan: I mean, he did lead Gryffindor to a win eventually.

Lauren: Yeah.

Megan: So that speaks well of him.

Michael: Yeah.

Lauren: And he’s very tenacious, so I’m sure he would put in all of the training required.

Megan: Oh, yes!

Michael: That’s true. That’s true.

Megan: They probably had to tell him to stop training.

[Michael and Shannen laugh]

Shannen: Well, he would have to sleep some time.

Megan: “Not until I get this!”

[Megan and Michael laugh]

Michael: What were you going to say, Shannen?

Shannen: Puddlemere is the oldest and then, according to all the dates that we have, the Holyhead Harpies would be the next oldest.

Michael: Yes.

Lauren: Oh, yeah!

Michael: I believe so.

Shannen: So I wonder if Puddlemere was just all guys who wouldn’t let the Holyhead Harpies in.

Lauren: Ooh!

Shannen: And so they were like, “Screw you.”

Megan: I believe it.

Michael: Ooh, so they were developed because of Puddlemere United.

Shannen: Yeah.

Megan: Now we need a movie that’s the origin story of the Holyhead Harpies, and that needs to be the premise.

Michael: [laughs] Because of their rivalry with Puddlemere United.

Megan: Yes!

Shannen: So far I have: origin story of Holyhead Harpies, 1950s game of Holyhead Harpies, and the Gwenog Jones story.

[Michael laughs]

Shannen: So this is a trilogy.

Lauren: Absolutely.

Michael: We got a trilogy!

Megan: I think we’re fans of the Holyhead Harpies here.

[Michael laughs]

Lauren: Just a little, tiny bit.

[Megan and Michael laugh]

Michael: But Puddlemere United have a little bit of fame in the Harry Potter series because they actually don’t just have a motto; they have an anthem.

Shannen: I love this song.

Michael: Which was recorded by Celestina Warbeck; proceeds from the single go to St Mungo’s. The song is called, “Beat Back Those Bludgers, Boys (and Chuck That Quaffle Here).” And…

Megan: That sounds like something from the 1940s.

Michael: Yeah, well…

Lauren: I know, right?

Michael: That’s generally Celestina’s kind of era.

Megan: True, very true. The fabulous era.

Shannen: You’re going to sing her for us, Michael?

Michael: I am going to sing for you.

Shannen: [gasps] Yes!

[Michael laughs]

Megan: Yes! Yes!

Michael: Because, technically, I don’t think we can actually play the one from Universal.

Shannen: Probably not.

Michael: By the way, listeners, you can hear this full song if you go to Universal Studios with a complete performance by Celestina and her Singing Banshees. It’s quite fabulous, I must say.

Shannen: Oh, yeah.

Michael: I can’t get nearly to that level, but I will do my best.

Shannen: All right.

Michael: I apologize in advance. I usually sing in a chorus so that my singular voice isn’t heard.

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: This sounds a lot better when you’ve got a trio of Banshees behind you, but I’ll do my best.

Megan: We believe in you.

Michael: The cool thing about this song too is that it does legitimately give you Quidditch terms and little facts about Quidditch, so it is kind of fun. So it starts… this first part actually starts with the Banshees, and they sing, [singing]

“From the marshy bogs of Queerditch
Grew a sport so fine and fair
In which each witch and wizard
Would take flight through the air.
We sit and watch in wonder
At each game the players play
And dream our team will reign supreme

Thus we cannot help but say…”

And then it goes into the jazzy part.

Megan: Yeah!

Michael: So we go…

[Sound of clapping]

Michael: [laughs] Here we go: [singing]

“Beat back those Bludgers, boys, and chuck that Quaffle here

No team can ever best the best of Puddlemere
You’ll catch that Golden Snitch with the easiest of ease
Grab your Beater’s bat and in no time flat
Prove the game is yours to seize!

Beat back those Bludgers, boys, and chuck that Quaffle here
Those noble navy robes know not one ounce of fear
Won’t see them blagging, blatching, or blurting on their brooms
Playing by the rules, they’re nobody’s fools, other teams will meet their dooms!”

I love that verse because, “blagging, blatching, and blurting” are all actual Quidditch fouls mentioned in this book.

[Shannen laughs]

Megan: Yes! That is fantastic.

Michael: And here’s the call and response. So ladies, you get to help me with this part.

[Megan gasps]

Michael: Because nobody ever does this when you go to Universal.

Megan: Woo-hoo! Aww.

Michael: Celestina shouts this out and nobody responds to her. It’s so sad.

Megan: Aww.

Shannen: Okay.

Michael: Probably because they don’t understand what she’s saying.

Megan: Well, we should just all go together, and we’ll do the call and response with her. Make her day.

Michael: Perfect. We’re going to fix this because it goes, [singing] “Can I hear you shout, ‘Puddlemere United’?”

Lauren, Megan, and Shannen: Puddlemere United!

[Everyone laughs]

Megan: Once more, with feeling.

Michael: We’re doing good. Here we go: [singing] “Always number one!”

Lauren, Megan, and Shannen: Always number one!

[Everyone laughs]

Megan: Wait, we’re doing it again?

Michael: [singing] “Let me hear you shout, ‘We won’t be divided!'”

Shannen: We won’t be divided.

Megan: We won’t be divided.

Lauren: We won’t be divided.

Michael: I think I’m starting to understand why nobody does the call and response.

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: And then the last bit of that verse is, [singing] “And now it’s time to have some fun!” And then there’s a full minute of her just going: [scat singing]

[Shannen laughs]

Megan: Yes!

Michael: But I’m not going to do that. [laughs]

Lauren: Aww.

Megan: Well, it sounded pretty good anyway.

[Lauren and Michael laugh]

Michael: And the final verse is, [singing]

“Beat back those Bludgers, boys, and chuck that Quaffle here
There’s no team looks as fine flying in their Quidditch gear
A world cup waits for you at the end of the Quidditch year
There is no retreat!
Let’s turn up the heat!
Don’t accept defeat!
Time to now compete!
So beat back those Bludgers, boys, and chuck that Quaffle here!”

[Lauren, Megan, and Shannen cheer and applaud]

[Michael laughs]

Megan: Well, that was a good episode, guys.

Shannen: I could totally dance to that.

Michael: And we’re done. That’s all the time we have for our show.

Megan: All right.

[Megan and Michael laugh]

Lauren: Can’t top that.

Megan: Mic drop.

Shannen: I’m so glad that I was on this episode just to witness that.

Megan: Yes! Yes.

Shannen: And I also want to point out that in this song it specifically says “boys,” so this supports my Holyhead Harpies theory.

Megan: Ah! Yes.

Michael: That’s true.

Lauren: Woo-hoo, it does!

Michael: Mhm.

Shannen: Yeah. A-ha.

Michael: Get with the times, Puddlemere United.

Shannen: Yeah.

[Lauren laughs]

Michael: We love your theme, but get with it.

Shannen: And frankly, I’m a little disappointed in Celestina for supporting them.

[Megan and Michael laugh]

Shannen: But I guess since the proceeds go to St Mungo’s, it’s fine.

Megan: Yeah, it’s for charity.

Michael: Yeah, I’d like to think in my head – as will be, of course, a part of our new trilogy – that the Holyhead Harpies have an anthem as well, of some kind, that Celestina is currently recording.

Megan: Yeah. Yes, I like this plan.

Shannen: And it’s much cooler.

Michael: That’s even better. [laughs]

Megan: Yes.

Lauren: Oh my gosh, it has to be a rock anthem.

Michael: Yeah.

Megan: Yes! Yes it does.

Michael: [laughs] Well, if it’s a rock anthem, maybe the Weird Sisters will record it.

Megan: Ooh.

Lauren: Exactly!

Megan: But aren’t they all guys?

Michael: They are, but we…

Shannen: Would they do it? Because one of them is the son of another person from another team.

Michael: Oh, that’s right.

Lauren: There you go.

Michael: They’d be doing the anthem for Pride of Portree. That’s right. Never mind.

Shannen: Okay, solution: Holyhead Harpies, start a band.

[Michael laughs]

Lauren: Yes! [laughs]

Megan: The team and the band! You have to try out and audition.

[Michael laughs]

Lauren: Ginny and the Harpies?

[Megan laughs]

Michael: I like this. I like where this is going.

Megan: That’s the new wizard rock band.

[Lauren laughs]

Michael: [laughs] But we move on from the expert anthem of Puddlemere United to another team that does get a mention in Harry Potter. Interestingly, this team is first mentioned here in Quidditch, and they come up later in Order of the Phoenix. So this was actually a bit of a foreshadowing, because Quidditch was released right after Goblet of Fire. This is the Tutshill Tornadoes, founded in 1520, and they are the British/Irish record holder for the League Cup, [which] they’ve won five times, I believe.

Lauren: Ooh.

Michael: They are very famous for their Seeker Roderick Plumpton, who lived from 1889 to 1987. He was their previous captain and Seeker. He holds the record for the fastest Snitch capture, which was three-and-a-half seconds, and that was against the Caerphilly Catapults in 1921.

Lauren: Goodness.

Megan: That’s the coolest catch ever.

Lauren: Did it just fly right into his face?

Megan: I think it was his sleeve.

Michael: Yes.

Megan: Because isn’t there later, when they’re giving the different types of “special moves,” the seemingly careless movement of the arm that… yeah. Anyway… we’ll get to that.

Michael: Yeah, I feel like that bit about Roderick legitimizes Harry catching the Snitch in his mouth.

Shannen: [laughs] Yeah.

Megan: Yes!

[Michael laughs]

Lauren: That’s true.

Michael: That was the purpose of that whole thing, to cover that plot hole.

[Lauren laughs]

Megan: Hey, hey, it happens.

Michael: It happens and it’s legitimate. It is recognized in the League as acceptable.

[Lauren laughs]

Megan: Yep. That’s the most impressive capture – 3.5 seconds – but the most disappointing game ever.

[Michael laughs]

Megan: Aw, man! It’s over!

Michael: Yeah, people paid for that.

Megan: Oh my gosh, that’s true!

[Lauren, Michael, and Shannen laugh]

Megan: Oh! You’d have to comp them tickets for the next game.

Lauren: Oh my gosh.

Michael: I hope those people got a chance to meet him in person – the people who paid the highest ticket prices for that game…

Megan: Yeah. Seriously.

Michael: Because that’s ridiculous. The Tutshill Tornadoes are also, again, noteworthy for their mention in Order of the Phoenix, specifically in the American edition on page 231. Because they are brought up when Harry is having his first substantial conversation with Cho Chang of the year, and Ron completely destroys it by noticing that Cho is wearing a Tutshill Tornadoes badge. And after insulting her about it, he explains to Hermione: [as Ron] “Half the people you see wearing those badges only bought them last season. They’re not real fans, they’re just jumping on the bandwagon.”

Megan: Ah, fandom.

Michael: Considering their accomplishments, I think Ron’s being a little unfair.

Megan: Yes.

Lauren: Just a little bit.

Megan: I mean, Ron… teenage boy… unfair?

Michael: But isn’t it interesting too though that we have a Quidditch team that reflects Ron so well? And I will go to the ends of the earth to defend Miss Cho Chang.

Lauren: Absolutely.

Michael: But isn’t it also interesting that there’s this idea that Cho goes for what’s popular, as far as how she is portrayed in the series? I don’t know if that’s meant to be a reflection of her character, or perhaps a warning about her relationship with Harry.

Megan: I don’t know, I don’t feel like it was intentional.

Lauren: Honestly, I just think it’s an unfair portrayal of this girl.

Megan: Yeah, I don’t think that was in any way intentional.

Shannen: Yeah.

Megan: Because… that just doesn’t feel like the right answer to me.

Michael: No, it didn’t to me either.

Megan: Yeah.

Michael: But I feel like that’s the argument that Ron is using against this.

Megan: Yeah.

Michael: But yes, Tutshill Tornadoes…

Megan: Well, teenage girls getting excited about something that’s widely popular is just inherently frowned upon frequently.

Michael: Yes.

Megan: And that’s very annoying.

Michael: Yes, God forbid. Yes. So Tutshill Tornadoes… Cho Chang’s favorite team; definitely not Ron’s.

[Megan laughs]

Shannen: Michael, I’m going to have to stop you there, because you were wrong about something.

[Megan gasps]

Michael: What? What did I do?

[Lauren laughs]

Shannen: You said… you just misread something, and I could tell…

[Megan gasps]

Shannen: Because you said that they hold the British/Irish record for winning the League Cup five times.

Michael: Yeah, that felt wrong as I read it.

Megan: [laughs] Sure, it did!

Shannen: They hold the record for winning it the most times in a row. They won five times in a row.

Megan: Ah!

Michael: Thank you, because I was going to say, there were teams who won it over twenty times.

Shannen: Yes. The Montrose Magpies are the ones who have won the most, with thirty-two wins.

Michael: Thank you.

Megan: Right.

Michael: Thank you for the fact check…

Shannen: Yeah.

Michael: Because it felt really wrong as I said it. And I was like, “Hmm… I’m just going to keep going.”

[Everyone laughs]

Megan: Don’t worry, it’ll get corrected later.

Shannen: I was like, “He is wrong, let me check the book.”

Michael: [laughs] I am apparently as good at math as J.K. Rowling.

Megan: That’s okay, me too.

[Lauren laughs]

Michael: It’s been revealed.

Shannen: Worse, even, because she got those numbers right.

Michael: True. But see, she gets a few other things wrong.

Megan: Yep!

Michael: [laughs] The next team: The Wigtown Wanderers, not much to say about them. They were founded in 1422; they are a family team and they are famous for having meat cleavers on their robes because, back when they were founded, their butcher… the daddy of the team, who was a butcher, stood on the sidelines to intimidate the other players. So, now, you know why there’s meat cleavers on their robes.

Megan: “My father will hear about this.”

Lauren: I love it.

Shannen: Oh my.

[Lauren and Michael laugh]

Megan: He will see it because he’s right there with the meat cleaver.

Shannen: Do you think there is a foul that’s like, “No meat cleavers.”

[Megan laughs]

Michael: Well, as long as the players… We do know there is a foul about axes.

Megan: [laughs] Yes!

Shannen: Yeah.

Megan: That is true. [laughs]

Lauren: Now, that just brings up the question: Is a cleaver an axe? Could it be construed as such?

Shannen: I don’t think so.

Megan: Hmm, yeah.

Michael: I feel like if it is, that is a separate rule of the 700.

Megan: Oh, yes.

Lauren: Like a sub-section of the axes.

Megan: Yes.

Michael: Yes. We do have 700 fouls we’re working with here. But, of course, we’re also working with magic so goodness only knows. It’s basically like the limits of your imagination.

[Everyone laughs]

Megan: Not even necessarily that.

Michael: [laughs] Exactly, right?

Megan: Because, maybe, somebody got so emotional, they had like wandless magic happen or something. Because, isn’t that like… Harry has that happen in Prisoner where he just loses control for a second because he’s so mad. I mean, if there were that many fouls, I have to imagine somebody got really angry at some point.

Michael: And as we will see a little further down the line, there are some crazy things that have happened at Quidditch World Cups, despite the 700 fouls being put in place.

[Megan laughs]

Michael: So, really, it is the boundaries of imagination.

Megan: Yes.

Michael: Our final team kind of brings us full circle: the Wimbourne Wasps, founded in 1312. As we know, they come up in Goblet of Fire so they have already been mentioned by the time of this book’s release as they were the team that Ludo Bagman played for. He was their Beater. But again, coming full circle, because they do, in fact, have an intense rivalry with the Appleby Arrows, which began circa mid-17th century when the Wasps’ Beater thought it would be funny to use a nearby wasp’s nest and beat it at one of the players on the Appleby team, who had to be taken off of the pitch for the extreme amount of stings. And afterwards, the Wimbournes adopted the wasp as their team mascot.

Megan: And the fans traditionally buzz loudly to distract opposing Chasers. [laughs]

Shannen: “Buzz!”

Michael: Yeah, I like that. I like that. [laughs]

Megan: That’s such… That is so real to just like sportsman hands.

Lauren: It really is. Oh my gosh.

Michael: So, now you know a little bit about your British and Irish league teams. So, listeners, feel free… we would love to know… I would love to know your favorites in the comments this week. I want to hear which team you support from the British and Irish league. But as you can tell, this current podcast team are all behind the Holyhead Harpies.

Megan: Yes!

Shannen: Holyhead Harpies forever.

Lauren: Okay, Chapter 8 was like my gold mine because I am a huge fan of history and Harry Potter so this was just perfect for me, I just went, “Dove right in.”

Michael: Sweet.

Lauren: Now, Chapter 8 talks about the spread of Quidditch Worldwide throughout all of history. And the first continent that we come to is Europe, which was the establishment of Quidditch. The match of 1385, showed the establishment of Quidditch in Ireland in the 14th century. So, that shows that games are being played just after the Holyhead Harpies and Puddlemere United founded their teams, which would have been in the 13th century. And mostly, it stayed on the islands – I think – until it spread through Europe during the early 15th century. And she… sorry, not she, Whisp…

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: She who?

Lauren: Exactly. Whisp notes the mention of, “Quidditch itself into artists of the time.” Ingolfur, the Iambic poetry in the early 1400s, the lines go thus like this. “Oh, the thrill of the chase as I soar through the air. With the Snitch up ahead, and the wind in my hair. As I draw ever closer, the crowd gives a shout. But then comes a Bludger and I am knocked out.”

[Megan and Michael laugh]

Lauren: So I’m not quite sure if that’s an iambic or not, but…

Megan: I hope it is because the names; that’s what kept getting me in this one, oh the names.

[Michael laughs]

Lauren: I know it’s perfect.

Megan: Ingolfur the Iambic.

Lauren: Oh my gosh!

Shannen: I think Celestina should record this poem.

[Everyone laughs]

Megan: Yes! Yes!

Michael: This is a pretty, great, little poem. I do so love the profound nature of wizard poetry.

Lauren: It’s so imaginative and yet so simple.

Michael: Lauren, can you introduce…

Megan: You can’t get super ridiculously like… Okay, I was a Creative Writing major and it drove me crazy the aloofness of, “Oh yes, genre fiction.” You can’t get that way about wizard poetry. [laughs]

Michael: No.

Lauren: You really can’t.

[Megan and Michael laugh]

Michael: It is what it is. Pretty straight up.

Megan: Intellectual snobbery drives me crazy.

Michael: [laughs] They don’t have that in the Wizarding World.

Megan: No.

Michael: They’re pretty straightforward about everything.

Megan: Yep.

Michael: Now, Lauren, can you intro this play and then can we pick two of us to read the lines?

[Lauren gasps]

Michael: Like, is that…? Yeah.

Lauren: Absolutely.

Michael: Fabulous. So, tell us about this play.

Lauren: Around the same time that Iambic was writing, a French wizard, Malecrit, which I think…

Megan: Malecrit. [pronounces it in French]

Lauren: …translates to “badly written” – I can see it in the note here.

Megan: It does. I looked it up; Google translate, “badly written.”

Lauren: Awesome.

Michael: Is it pronounced, “Mal écrit,” because of the “t”?

Megan: Mal écrit.

Michael: That silent “t” like “Voldemort”?

Lauren: Mal écrit, something like it.

Megan: Well, you see the way… three years of French. If there is not a vowel after the consonant, you don’t pronounce it.

Michael: Now we know.

Megan: Mhm, so mal écrit.

Lauren: Now we know.

Michael: So since, Megan… since…

Megan: So you pronounced the…

Michael: I was going to say. [laughs]

Megan: [laughs] All right, all right. Okay, give me a sec here, okay. “Hélas, Je me suis Transfiguré Les Pieds.” “Alas, I’ve Transfigured My Feet.”

[Michael laughs]

Lauren: Which is the best title ever.

[Lauren and Michael laugh]

Michael: So, who’s going to read the parts of this beautiful play? We have two roles I believe.

Megan: Yes, I do believe so.

Lauren: I don’t know because either one, you have to pronounce a name.

Michael: I was going to say, Megan, you have to, at least, be one of them.

Megan: [laughs] Yes, I’m very willing. Okay, I’ll be Crapaud. So, I’ll be the second one.

Michael: Wait. Where…? What page is this on again? 70 what? 77?

Megan: I don’t know.

Lauren: It’s on [page 39] in my book. [laughs]

Michael: Okay. Oh, that’s right. I’m using the new edition. Let’s see.

Megan: I’m using the e-edition. [laughs]

Michael: Okay. So you’re going…? Which one are you going to be?

Megan: I’ll be the second one.

Michael: How do you pronounce his name?

Megan: Crapaud.

Michael: Crapaud. Okay, that’s a great name.

Megan: Right.

[Everyone laughs]

Megan: Do you speak English? It had some other things that might be funny. [laughs]

Michael: Yeah, right? I was going to say… Okay, then I’ll be…

Megan: And I know what it means.

Michael: I’ll be the other guy then.

Megan: All right.

Michael: Now that I know how to pronounce the name so my character says, [in a French accent] “I cannot go with you to the market today, Crapaud.”

Megan: [in a French accent] “But, Grenouille, I cannot carry the cow alone.”

[Lauren laughs]

Michael: [in a French accent] “You know Crapaud, that I am to be Keeper this morning. Who will stop the Quaffle if I do not?”

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: And bow.

Shannen: [unintelligble] this play.

Megan: Oh my God!

Shannen: I know we already have a trilogy of the Holyhead Harpies to write…

Michael: [laughs] But, you want to see this play in full, right?

Megan: Now we need to write “Alas, I’ve Transfigured My Feet.”

Shannen: But the script is here.

[Everyone laughs]

Lauren: Sure, it’s just a few lines but we can expatriate from that.

Megan: We can take some inspiration from like, “Into the Woods.”

Lauren: [gasps] Oh my gosh, yes!

Shannen: I’m seeing like chromatic, old French film.

Megan: I mean, this cow…

Michael: Chromatic, old what?

Shannen: French film. And it’s in black and white.

Megan: Yeah, like a French art film. Like “The Red Balloon” or something.

Michael: I like that. I like that.

Shannen: I already vote…

Michael: Who needs the Cursed Child script? We want the Alas, I’ve Transfigured My Feet script.

Lauren: Yes!

Megan: Oh my gosh, yes!

Michael: Perform it on stage right now.

Shannen: Tweet it.

[Michael laughs]

Megan: Yes. We should give it to StarKid.

[Lauren and Michael laugh]

Michael: They would do that.

Megan: I can imagine them doing wonderful things. [laughs]

Michael: They would do that.

[Lauren laughs]

Michael: But tell us more, Lauren, about the first Quidditch World Cup.

Lauren: Okay. In 1473, the first ever Quidditch World Cup was held. Now, all the nations that were represented were European.

Michael: Mm.

Lauren: The non-appearance of teams from other nations [was] put down as either owls collapsing delivering the invitations, reluctance to make such a perilous journey, or simply wanting to stay at home.

Michael: Fair enough.

Megan: Or… wizards are not impervious to colonialism?

[Megan and Michael laugh]

Lauren: They are not, indeed.

Michael: No, they are not.

Megan: I would…

Michael: We find that out a little bit, actually, so…

Lauren: And I have to say, this has to be one of my favorite little stories out of this because the final between Transylvania and Flanders has gone down in history as being the most violent ever seen.

[Megan laughs]

Lauren: And many of the fouls recorded had never been seen before and probably haven’t been seen since because they were recorded as fouls, but…

Michael: Yeah, this is the 700 fouls match.

Megan: Ah, yes.

Lauren: This is the 700 fouls match, but three of the most prominent ones that Whisp saw to mention [were], “Transfiguring a Chaser into a polecat…”

[Michael laughs]

Shannen: That’s not that bad.

Lauren: “… attempted decapitation of a [Keeper] with a broadsword…”

[Megan laughs]

Michael: So there was a broadsword and an axe at this match.

Megan: Oh my gosh.

Lauren: Absolutely, and then…

Michael: So meat cleavers are definitely possible.

[Laura and Megan laugh]

Lauren: Meat cleavers are definitely possible.

Megan: Very possible.

[Michael laughs]

Lauren: And my absolute personal favorite: The Transylvanian captain unleashed 100 blood-sucking vampire bats. [laughs]

Michael: From under his robes.

Lauren: Yes!

Megan: So did he do an Undetectable Extension Charm like Hermione’s bag?

[Megan and Michael laugh]

Lauren: These are the questions we need answered, Rowling!

Megan: To Twitter!

Michael: Yeah, that’s quite a spell. That is quite a spell.

[Lauren laughs]

Michael: I feel like… Now, okay, here’s something interesting and you guys can… If you look a little farther down on the doc, there is a link I put in for some concept art from Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup

Megan: Ooh.

Michael: … that was revealed by Ross Dearsley, who worked on the game, and on the second piece of concept art he actually reveals that there was originally going to be a Transylvanian Quidditch team but they were cut before the game was produced. Take a look at them, though.

Megan: Aww.

Lauren: Oh my gosh, look at them.

Megan: Okay, so it’s the second link?

Lauren: Oh my gosh.

Michael: The Beaters are werewolves, you guys.

Megan: What? What?

[Michael laughs]

Lauren: The Beaters are werewolves.

Megan: Oh my gosh!

[Michael laughs]

Lauren: In full wolf. They’re full wolf.

Megan: That is so perfect.

Lauren: That is amazing.

Michael: None of these people [is] fully human on this team, which is super cool.

Megan: Oh my gosh.

Lauren: That’s amazing.

Michael: I thought that… and their broom in the game was called the “Transylvanian Barb” because it’s made of barbed wire.

Megan: Oh my gosh!

[Michael laughs]

Lauren: Oh my gosh, look at that thing.

Megan: You need a very strong Cushioning Charm for that. [laughs]

Shannen: Why not?

Michael: [laughs] So I mean, really, if the Transylvanian team was envisioned this way, I’m not surprised they were unleashing 400 blood-sucking bats during a match in the early days.

Megan: I mean… [laughs]

Shannen: Oh my gosh.

Michael: But yeah…

Lauren: How would he hide them underneath that uniform?

Michael: Well, maybe the uniform was different back in the 1400s.

Megan: I mean, could be. I mean, you could probably hide a lot in your robes.

Michael: I do like the idea of an Undetectable Extension Charm, or that this is just a charm because back then wands had yet to be banned from Quidditch…

Lauren and Megan: Ah, true.

Michael: … so he might have just been shooting them out of his wand.

Megan: That is true.

Lauren: Oh my gosh, that would have been even better.

Michael: Constant stream of bats.

Megan: [laughs] Now, what is the Latin for that?

Michael: He had a magic case. Newt is descended from one of the Transylvanian players.

[Lauren laughs]

Megan: Oh my gosh, yes.

Shannen: That would be crazy.

[Everyone laughs]

Shannen: I would love that.

[Lauren and Michael laugh]

Megan: Oh, man.

Shannen: Just Newt being like, “Oh, one time my great-grandfather released 100 blood-sucking vampire bats at a Quidditch match.”

[Everyone laughs]

Megan: “Isn’t that great?!”

Shannen: [laughs] “Newt, what?”

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: That’s awesome, but there [are] still some more details about the World Cup.

Megan: Oh.

Lauren: Yes, there are. The World Cup is held every four years, but it’s not until the 17th century that non-European countries participate…

Michael: Hmm.

Lauren: … and this leads to the establishment of the European World Cup in 1652, which is played every three years.

Michael: Which is good to know because we were not aware of league information quite yet until that was revealed.

Lauren: Mhm.

Michael: And interestingly, listeners, we’re not going to read the whole thing because then the show would be three hours long…

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: … which it’s well on its way to at this point.

Lauren: Oh, dear.

Michael: But you can take a look… this one survived the Pottermore purge, luckily. There is an article on Pottermore written by Rowling called “The History of the Quidditch World Cup” and it does detail some of the issues that come up with the math of the Quidditch World Cup happening every four years. Rowling covered up that math oopsy pretty well here. There [are] a lot of interesting stories in this writing, but probably the one that explains the issue with the math the best…

[Lauren laughs]

Michael: … is “The Tournament that Nobody Remembers,” which… the section goes,

“The International Confederation of Wizards Quidditch Committee insists that a tournament has been held every four years since 1473. This is a source of pride, proving as it does that nothing – wars, adverse weather conditions[,] or Muggle interference – can stop wizards playing Quidditch. There is, however, a mystery surrounding the tournament of 1877.”

So this does indicate that Kennilworthy Whisp’s information is incorrect…

Megan: [laughs] Yep, that’s definitely how it works.

Michael: … so now we can trust nothing he says. [laughs] As the writing says,

“The competition was undoubtedly planned: a venue chosen… publicity materials produced, tickets sold.”

This venue was in Kazakhstan.

“In August, however, the wizarding world woke up to the fact that they had no memory whatsoever of the tournament… Neither those in possession of tickets nor any of the players could remember a single game. However, for reasons none of them understood, English Beater Lucas Bargeworthy was missing most of his teeth…”

[Megan laughs]

Michael: [continues]

“… Canadian Seeker Angelus Peel’s knees were on backwards…”

Lauren: Oh, my.

Michael: [continues]

“… and half the Argentinian team were found tied up in the basement of a pub in Cardiff…”

Megan: [laughs] In Cardiff.

Lauren: What?

Michael: [continues]

“… Precisely what had – or had not – taken place during the tournament has never been satisfactorily proven. Theories range from a mass Memory Charm perpetuated by the Goblin Liberation Front…”

Megan: Very tiny.

[Lauren gasps]

Michael: [continues]

“… (at that time very active and attracting a number of disaffected anarchist wizards) or the breakout of Cerebrumous Spattergroit…”

[Megan laughs]

Michael: As you will remember, listeners, Spattergroit is what Ron pretends to have in Book 7.

Lauren: Yes.

Megan: Ooh.

Michael: And “Cerebrumous” implies that it affects your brain, specifically. [continues]

“… a virulent sub-strain of the more common Spattergroit, which causes severe confusion and memory impairment. In any case, it was deemed appropriate to re-stage the tournament in 1878 and it has been held every four years since, which accounts for the slight anomaly in the Ôevery four years since 1473′ sequence.”

Lauren: Wow.

Michael: Make sure, listeners, and check this section out because it also details the story of a Quidditch match in 1809 when a bedraggled player brought an entire forest to life with Dark magic and killed most of the audience.

Megan: Well, then.

Lauren: Oh, my.

Megan: Yes.

Michael: Yeah, that was a pretty extreme one; and a match in, I believe, the 1970s, where a Quidditch Committee representative had decided to ban wands from the Quidditch stadium, so in dissent, a bunch of people disguised their wands as noisemakers, which caused quite a stir.

[Megan laughs]

Michael: But there [are] a lot of nice little bits of history that [fill] in Kennilworthy’s stuff on the site. You’ll also find… this is no longer on Pottermore, tragically. You’ll have to dig around for it. I found it on Reddit!

Megan: Woo!

Michael: So thank you, Reddit, for saving this. But Rowling did detail all of the matches – the final matches – and scores from the International World Cup from 1990-2014. Which, of course, was meant to be a lead-up to the big live 2014 coverage that happened on Pottermore, almost all the evidence of which is now erased from the site.

Megan: [fake crying] Why? That was my favorite thing ever! It was the best thing!

Michael: Unfortunately all of that stuff was done in tandem with the Pottermore Insider, which no longer exists.

Megan: I know. [growls]

Michael: So a lot of those articles have gone missing. Luckily, if you dig around deep enough, you can retrieve these articles. It’s just hard to find them in order and be sure that you’re not missing any in-between.

Megan: Yeah.

Michael: But it does reveal some really interesting information about… It elaborates more on what Lauren is going to talk about with some of our international teams. Which is really fun because you see Rowling taking the stuff she developed in Quidditch Through the Ages and really applying it to what she did in 2014. It is really tragic that that stuff from 2014 is gone because when you look at it, it was a pretty massive undertaking on her part.

Megan: And it was just so well executed, too.

Michael: Yeah.

Megan: It was…

Michael: I think it was better executed…

Megan: I was there the whole day just watching the updates happen. It was so fun!

Michael: I thought it was better executed than the recent release of the Americas information on Pottermore.

Shannen: Yeah.

Megan: I still need to read that.

Michael: It was just more… there was a better lead-up…

Megan: Uh-huh.

Michael: The payoff was…

Megan: Awesome!

Michael: … astonishing. And the detail… if you do find some of these articles, listeners, she had one where Ludo Bagman was taking bets, and she had created all of the… for not being very good at math, she had created all of the theoretical odds for each team…

Lauren: Oh, wow.

Michael: And she had calculated how many points each of them had up to that point. It was very impressive work.

Megan: She probably had some help. I know I’d need it.

Michael: She probably did. But it was very, very impressive.

[Megan laughs]

Michael: But at the very least…

Megan: I just loved the interactions between Ginny and Rita, because…

Michael: Yeah, those were funny.

Lauren: Those were amazing.

Megan: Rita Skeeter and Ginny.

[Michael laughs]

Lauren: Didn’t Ginny jump over the stands to punch Rita in the face at one point?

Megan: Yes, at the end, I think.

Michael: She cursed her. She cursed her solar plexus apparently.

[Lauren laughs]

Michael: Which was the last we’ve heard of Rita Skeeter…

Lauren: That was amazing.

Megan: Yes.

Michael: … in recent canon.

[Lauren laughs]:

Michael: So, she got hers in the end.

Megan: Yes.

Michael: But at the very least, we still have all of this information that Lauren will go through of all these amazing international teams.

Megan: Before we go any further, I actually – so, names again – so the “Alas, I have transfigured my feet,” the two character names…

Michael: Yes.

Megan: Grenouille is frog and Crapaud is toad. Frog and toad.

Michael: Oh, Frog and toad!

Lauren: Frog and toad! Oh, my gosh, that’s even better.

Megan: Yep! Yep.

Michael: J.K. Rowling…

Megan: She’s pretty great.

[Lauren laughs]

Michael: Maybe you can pull some information on some of these names we come across.

Megan: Yes, I’d be happy to.

Michael: Because we have some very interesting ones.

Megan: I would be happy to. Names are fun.

Michael: Start us off, Lauren.

Lauren: All right, the famous teams of Europe from Bulgaria: we have the Vrasta Vultures.

Michael: Oh, you pronounced that beautifully.

Lauren: Oh, thank you.

Michael: [in a Bulgarian accent] Vratsa – the Vratsa Vultures – is very Bulgarian.

Lauren: I thought so. [laughs]

Michael: I like it, I like it. [laughs]

Lauren: They’re seven times European Cup winners and they’re also known as the most thrilling team to watch. They’re pioneers of the long goal, which means shooting from well outside the scoring area. So if anybody’s familiar with basketball, it’s kind of like taking a half-court shot or one of those really long three-pointers.

Michael: Yeah. That’s a thing I understand.

Lauren: It’s like doing that, but on a broomstick and flying really fast.

Megan: And trying to avoid Bludgers.

Michael: That’s pretty impressive. Yeah.

Lauren: Exactly.

Michael: And [with] thirteen other people flying around you.

Megan: Yep!

Lauren: That’s got to be really brilliant to watch.

Shannen: Oh, yeah.

Michael: So I couldn’t help but wonder, since this is the only Bulgarian team we get mention of, if this was maybe a team that Krum started on?

Megan: Maybe.

Lauren: That’s a possibility.

Michael: Because before I learned to understand this aspect for this episode, I thought that the Vratsa Vultures might have actually been the team that was playing in the Cup. But that would seem to not be the case.

Shannen: Nope.

Lauren: Yeah.

Michael: But since Krum ended up on the international team, I just thought maybe his humble beginnings would have been on the most well-known Bulgarian team.

Megan: Probably, since he was such a…

Lauren: That could be possible. That might be why he was chosen.

Megan: Yeah, despite being 18.

Michael: Yeah, yeah. He’s a young one.

Lauren: I think he was… Wasn’t he 17?

Megan: I don’t know.

Michael: Was he 17? He was…

Lauren: Quickly.

Michael: … at the time, in 1994…

Lauren: Quickly, to the Internet!

Shannen: I think he was 17.

Michael: I think was 17.

Lauren: Quick, Google, help us!

Michael: That was supposed to be the big thing about him.

Lauren: From France, we have the Quiberon Quafflepunchers.

Megan: Yep, pretty much.

Lauren: Who are famed for their flamboyant play and shockingly pink robes.

Megan: [laughs] That just sounds like a British-ism about French people.

Michael: [laughs] Now I’m thinking of the international league team, of course, from Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup. They have one of the prettiest stadiums in the whole game.

Megan: Of course they do.

Lauren: They should.

Michael: Their stadium is covered in topiary at the bottom – beautiful hedge topiary, beautiful cut topiary – and there’s a little fountain in the middle.

Megan: Of course there is.

Lauren: Oh my gosh.

Michael: And it’s open to the bright blue sky and they wear… the international Quidditch team wears sky blue robes.

Megan: So like Beauxbaton…

Michael: They’re not very…

Lauren: Oh, that’s so pretty.

Michael: Yeah, kind of like Beauxbaton’s. They’re not very aggressive players in the game compared to the others.

[Megan and Lauren laugh]

Michael: They definitely are a little more showy than they are offensive, at least in the international teams.

Megan: Yep.

Michael: So, make of that what you will.

Megan: Yay, stereotypes!

Michael: [laughs] The teams definitely do.

[Lauren laughs]

Michael: It definitely comes along with the next country.

[Megan laughs]

Lauren: Okay, from France we hop over to Germany, whose team is the Heidelberg Harriers.

Michael: [in a German accent] The Heidelberg Harriers.

Megan: [in a German accent] The Heidelberg Harriers, ja.

Michael: [in German accent] Ja.

Lauren: I really hope I’m pronouncing that right.

Michael: Sorry, Germany.

Megan: Yeah.

[Megan and Michael laugh]

Lauren: The Irish captain Darren O’Hare once famously said that this team was “fiercer than a dragon and twice as clever.”

Megan: That is a high compliment.

Michael: That’s the team…

Lauren: So…

Michael: That’s the team that played against the…

Megan: The Harpies, right? Was it the Holyhead Harpies? Was that the one where the captain proposed to the other captain?

Lauren: Yes, it was! In one of the finest Quidditch games ever…

Megan: Yes! It was the one…

Michael: Yeah.

Megan: … where the team captain proposed…

Lauren: Okay, Rowling, we really need this now.

Megan: Yep, do it! There’s a marriage proposal at the end. You’ve already got your romance built in.

[Michael and Shannen laugh]

Megan: And then we can have a wonderful feminist moment of “No!”

Shannen: That’s true.

[Lauren and Michael laugh]

Lauren: Yes!

Michael: Oh yeah, because Darren O’Hare was captain of the Kenmare Kestrels.

Megan: Yeah.

Michael: The Germans are very aggressive players in the Quidditch World Cup.

[Megan laughs]

Lauren: Oh, yes.

Michael: They’re very hard to beat. If you get the Quaffle from them, they will immediately take it from you. And if they have special moves, they will use them all on you at once.

[Lauren and Megan laugh]

Michael: It is ridiculous. And they have very good special moves on the German team. So, oh my God.

[Megan laughs]

Michael: I can’t say anything about Luxembourg though. They’re not in the games. [laughs]

Megan: Poor little Luxembourg.

Michael: Sorry, Luxembourg. [laughs]

Megan: It’s like Pluto.

Lauren: Luxembourg has the Bigonville [pronounced “Bo-gon-ville”] Bombers…

Michael: Sure.

Megan: Bigonville [pronounced “Big-on-vee”]?

Lauren: Sure, let’s go with that.

Michael: Sounds good. [unintelligible]

Megan: That’s the other thing: two L’s with an E (I-L-L-E) is always “ee.” So, “vee.”

Michael: Ah.

Lauren: Got it.

Megan: Yep. French.

[Michael laughs]

Megan: I say that like I’m an expert; I’m not.

Lauren: The Bigonville Bombers are known to be top offensive strategists, and they’re always among the top goal scorers.

Shannen: Hooray!

Michael: Good for them.

Lauren: So I think if anything can stand up to the Heidelberg Harriers, it would probably be Luxembourg.

Michael: Go Luxembourg. They’ve got something on their side.

Megan: This is the classic case of, “We scored a lot of goals, but the other team caught the Snitch because the Snitch is just ridiculously…”

Shannen: Mmm.

Lauren: Vey dumb. That’s probably the whole case.

Megan: 150 points! You’re almost guaranteed to win with that.

Michael: Yes. As we learned from last week, the 150 points does come from the origin of the Snitch and the 150 Galleons that were offered.

Megan: Yes. [laughs]

Michael: So it’s more out of tradition than anything. But really, I think the 150 [points] does make sense in an average league Quidditch game because aside from those exceptions, with individuals like Roderick Plumpton who got it in three and a half seconds, which seems rare…

Megan: [laughs] Yes.

Michael: … Quidditch games do seem to go on… league games seem to go on long enough because the players are talented enough to keep them going. 150 points really is just a drop in the ocean, really, by that logic.

Shannen: Yeah.

Lauren: It really is.

Michael: So it makes sense for league. I feel like Hogwarts should change that rule for their school league Quidditch.

Megan: Yeah, like 75!

Lauren: Honestly, I could see them making the Snitch worth absolutely nothing, but it still has to end the game.

Megan and Shannen: Hmm.

Michael: Yeah.

Lauren: So you still have to catch it, but most of the focus goes toward the Chasers and the Beaters.

Shannen: But then you wouldn’t catch it.

Megan: Until… yeah, you would try to catch it only when your team is winning.

Lauren: But then you’d have to be more strategic about it.

Megan: Which sort of already happens.

Shannen: Yeah, there’d be a lot more fighting between Seekers.

Michael: But that’s what they do anyway.

Megan: Yeah, it is.

Shannen: I guess.

Megan: Exactly.

Michael: They wait for the Snitch; for opportune times, anyway. So it does seem like you could do that. And really, that would also help to maybe put the Chasers a little more in the limelight, since they are the ones who do the most work. [laughs]

Megan: Seriously.

Lauren: Exactly, it gives them more… a bigger piece of the pie.

Michael: Because if you’ve… again, playing Quidditch World Cup, the Chasers are the highlight of the game. The Seekers come in at the end because obviously, for purposes of the video game, you can’t just release the Snitch and be looking for it the whole time. So what you do as the Chaser is the Chaser actually boosts the Seeker’s ability in the game so that the more scores they get, the faster the Seeker can hit a boost and go after the Snitch.

Laura, Megan, and Shannen: Ahh.

Laura: That’s interesting.

Michael: So it’s like filling up the drive gauge. So really… yeah. Chasers are the most important.

Megan: I need to find a copy of that on PS2. I really, really need to.

Michael: Yes, you do. Yeah, you can still get it for PS2. And it still works for PC, if you play it on a PC.

Megan: Oh yeah, there’s that, too.

Michael: Yep. But continuing on…

Lauren: Now, the Portuguese team, Braga Broomfleet…

[Megan laughs]

Michael: Yeah.

Lauren: … has a groundbreaking Beater-marking system. Now, I’m just… that made me go, “Huh, Beater-marking system.” How can you mark the Beaters so that they can’t do their jobs? Because I think that’s what marking means in the sports world: [If] you mark somebody, that means that you’re trying to interfere so much so they can’t do their job.

Megan: I think so. Right, yeah.

Lauren: But aren’t the Beaters the interferers?

Megan: Yeah, but I mean, I guess other Chasers could do that same thing, where they just interfere and… yeah, just fly really quickly around them or something and distract them.

Michael: Well, and theoretically, too, Beater-marking could, I guess, mean… again, coming from somebody who knows nothing about sports… but if that’s the case, maybe the Beaters mark the opposing team’s Beaters and go after them.

Megan and Shannen: Yeah.

Lauren: Oh!

Michael: Maybe the Beaters distract each other, so that they can… If you’re distracting the Beaters the whole time, you keep them away from the Chasers and the Seeker.

Lauren: Very true. Very true. Thank you.

Michael: That’s what I’m going with.

Lauren: How would that work?

Megan: Or trying to distract them while they’re about to beat a Bludger away from their team or something.

Megan and Michael: Yeah.

Megan: Sports!

Michael: We’ll go with that. [laughs]

Lauren: So much sports.

Michael: So much the sports.

Megan: Sportsing.

Lauren: But then we go on to Poland, who has the Grodzisk Goblins.

Michael: Ooh.

Lauren: And they have the most innovative Seeker in the league, Josef Wronski. Now, we all know about the Wronski Feint. He’s the one who invented it.

Shannen: Yes.

Michael: Super cool. OMG.

Lauren: See, I wonder which… we saw many successful feints made by the Bulgarian Seeker, Krum!

Michael: Yes! And adapted by Harry later on in his school career.

Lauren: Absolutely. That’s where it came from!

Megan: See, I want to know… okay, the Polish team; they’re the Grodzisk Goblins. How do the goblins feel about this?

Shannen: They’re probably not happy.

Megan: Probably not!

Michael: They’re probably super PO’d. [laughs]

Lauren: Probably the same thing that’s going on with…

Megan: Or at least like, “Well, then let us be on the team, guys. Give us wands and give us brooms.”

Michael: Yeah, because I can’t imagine them… They’re definitely not going to be mascots.

Megan: No! No. My gosh.

[Michael laughs]

Megan: That would just be the epitome of selling out, to all the other goblins.

Lauren: Not going to happen.

Michael: Never going to happen.

Megan: They would probably stone each other. [laughs]

Michael: Yeah. That ain’t going down.

Lauren: But from Europe, we hop over to Australia and New Zealand.

Megan: Oh! We can do it, we can do it.

[Michael laughs]

Lauren: I know. Quidditch was introduced to New Zealand sometime in the 17th century, allegedly by a team of European Herbologists who played Quidditch when they were taking a break from their magical Herbology from New Zealand. And the New Zealand Ministry of Magic has spent much time and money keeping Muggles from getting… Maori? [pronounces as “May-or-ee”] I really hope…

Michael and Shannen: Maori. [pronounces as “Mow-ree”]

Lauren: Maori, [pronounces as “Mow-ree”] thank you… Maori art from that period which depicts white wizards playing Quidditch.

Megan: Because wizards are not good at [subtlety]. [laughs]

Michael: So there you go! Colonialism.

Megan: Yeah, colonialism and wizards.

Lauren: Colonialism!

Megan: Really, really bad at [subtlety].

Michael: [laughs] Even white wizards.

Lauren: Quidditch reportedly reached Australia sometime in the 18th century. And Australia may be said to be the most ideal Quidditch playing territory, given the huge expanses of outback – of uninhabited outback, excuse me – where Quidditch pitches can be established.

Michael: Yeah, the pitch for the international team in [Quidditch World Cup] is cool for Australia because every time they… so usually, when you score a goal in the game you’ll hear the native country’s instrument as the signal that you’ve scored a goal.

Lauren: Please tell me it’s a didgeridoo.

Michael: Yes, it’s a didgeridoo when you score in the Australian pitch.

Lauren and Megan: Yes!

Megan: More reasons I need this game.

Michael: It’s super cool. A super cool way to…

Megan: So many more reasons.

Michael: And there is an Australian commentator.

Megan: [gasps] Yes!

Michael: There’s a commentator from Australia, Germany, and France in the game.

Megan: Not from Britain?

Lauren: Oh, wow.

Michael: And they always join Ludo Bagman; he’s the constant commentator at every game.

Megan: Oh, okay. Got you.

Lauren: Oh, that’s amazing.

Michael: Yeah, it’s a cute little setup. Very clever. But yeah, I like the Australian pitch. And it looks as hot as it probably would be.

Megan: [laughs] Oh, dear.

Michael: There [are] only browns and yellows in the stadium. I would hate to play [on] an Australian pitch, unless there were spells to cool you off.

Megan: I hope so. Because you’ve got to be wearing the robes, too.

Lauren: I think you would need that, unless you want to collapse from heatstroke.

Shannen: True.

Michael: Yeah.

Megan: This is the outback. Also, Australia in general; you’ve just got to be really tough and unafraid of things. You have to be a Gryffindor to live in Australia.

Michael: But apparently, Europe loves Australia’s and New Zealand’s games.

Lauren: Absolutely; they think they’re the most thrilling to watch. Now, New Zealand has the Moutohora… [pronounces as “Mo-to-ha-ra”] Right?

Michael: Yeah, sure. Right.

Megan: Moutohora [pronounces as “Mo-to-ho-ra”]? Moutohora [pronounces as “Mo-to-ha-ra”]? Something.

[Lauren and Michael laugh]

Lauren: Please feel free to correct me at any point in the future… Moutohora Macaws, who are famous for their red, yellow, and blue robes, as well as their phoenix mascot, Sparky.

Megan: I love the name! Sparky!

Lauren: And I absolutely love that idea.

Michael: Shannen, I feel like Ariel is writing this.

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: Listeners, for those of you who don’t know, Ariel is one of the hosts for SpeakBeasty, and this is exactly what she would name a phoenix.

Megan: [laughs] I mean, it’s very appropriate.

Michael: Sparky.

Shannen: Today we were naming the Bowtruckle.

Michael: What did you end up naming him?

Shannen: At the exact same time, Ariel and I said, “Bowie.”

[Everyone laughs]

Shannen: So yes, it is settled.

Megan: But that’s the owl in the Hogwarts IT guy blog. That’s what’s-her-name’s owl.

Michael: Oh, is that its name?

Megan: Yeah, the girl… EV? Because it’s JD and EV. I need to catch up on those. Anyway, her owl is named Bowie because apparently, David Bowie was a wizard.

Lauren: Oh, goodness.

Michael and Shannen: Of course.

Megan: I can believe it.

Lauren: That makes the most sense.

Megan: He was also a goblin king, so maybe he united the wizards and goblins. We can dream.

Lauren: Ooh, because he is the goblin king.

Megan: Yes.

Lauren: Perfect.

Michael: There is… [it’s] worth mentioning [that] in that now lost bit from the Quidditch World Cup matches from 1990 to 2014, it is mentioned that Liechtenstein’s team mascot is a gloomy, oversized Augurey named Hans, who has a fan club.

[Lauren laughs]

Megan: Oh, gosh.

Shannen: Of course.

Michael: So mascots really do get quite a bit of love in Quidditch.

Megan: As they should.

Michael: Yeah, as they should. But of course, there are some teams from Australia worth noting. Eric would just love this. I hope you’re listening, Eric.

Megan: Oh, yeah.

Michael: He would just get gaga about this.

[Megan laughs]

Lauren: Now, Australia has two main teams: Thundelarra… [pronounces as “Thundel-air-a” ]

Megan: Thundelarra. [pronounces as “Thundel-are-a” ]

Michael: Yeah, I’d guess Thundelarra. [pronounces as “Thundel-are-a” ]

Lauren: Thundelarra Thunderers and Woollongong Warriors, and they have a huge rivalry between the two teams. They are such enemies that a popular response to somebody boasting or bragging or making up a tall tale is to say, “Yeah, and I think I’ll volunteer to ref the next Thunder-Warrior game.”

[Megan laughs]

Michael: Ooh, they’re good.

Megan: I just… I love those names and I love that.

Lauren: It’s fantastic.

Shannen: Can we appreciate how every single Quidditch team alliterates?

Michael: It is alliterative.

Megan: Yes.

Shannen: That’s dedication.

[Michael laughs]

Megan: The one thing I’ve noticed, though, is the French team; they’re the Quafflepunchers, the something Quafflepunchers. That’s not a very French word, at all.

Michael: Well, at least they did better than Puddlemere United.

Megan: True.

Michael: Once again, Puddlemere United: Get on it!

[Megan laughs]

Megan: Yeah, all the other teams alliterate. Why don’t you?

Shannen: So it started with the Holyhead Harpies.

Michael: Yeah… [laughs] Even Pride of Portree at least tried. They put an “of” but they still figured it out.

Megan and Shannen: Yes.

[Michael laughs]

Lauren: The game was publicly introduced to the African continent by European witches and wizards traveling there in search of info on alchemy and astronomy, which the African wizards and witches are very strong at. They are very adept at that.

Michael: Yeah, as we got revealed through Pottermore, African wizards are actually… this was kind of a nice little detail, but African wizards are actually more adept at wandless magic because as is the popular not-so-much-theory-as-fact – depending on who you ask – that of course human beings originated in Africa, magic is believed to have originated in Africa.

Lauren: Mhm.

Megan: That makes sense.

Michael: According to Rowling’s canon. So African wizards and witches tend to be very well-versed in magic, and while it mentions here alchemy and astronomy, they are also considered to be exceptional Transfiguration practitioners as well as Animagi, which is super cool.

Lauren: Yep.

Megan: Oh, yeah! Well, and just with a lot of cultures in Africa are… oh, what is it? I can’t think of… but animal spirits, sort of like Native American cultures… why can’t I think of the term?

Michael: Well, yeah, just generally [a] stronger connection to nature and the outdoors.

Megan: Yep, for obvious reasons.

Michael: They’ve got some pretty cool teams.

Megan: Mhm.

Lauren: From Uganda they have the Patonga Proudsticks…

Michael: I love that.

Shannen: Proudsticks.

Lauren: And I’m really, really sorry if I butchered that.

Megan: Reminds me of the “Proudfeet”!

Michael: I love that name. The Patonga Proudsticks. They must… I bet they’re an awesome team.

Megan: Yes.

Lauren: Well, they certainly are because they held the Montrose Magpies to a draw in 1986 to the great astonishment [of] observers. And six members of the Ugandan team recently represented Uganda and Africa at the Quidditch World Cup.

Michael: Okay, so that confirms my misunderstanding. So they do source them from league teams. Okay.

Lauren: Seeing as how a Quidditch team is seven members, six members of the Ugandan team were on the African team.

Michael: Yeah, that’s a pretty major accomplishment.

Megan: That’s pretty cool.

Shannen: I would hate to be the seventh member.

[Everyone laughs]

Shannen: Yeah, the seventh member who didn’t get to go, and also the seventh member from some other random team.

Megan: Oh!

Shannen: Either way, it’s going to be awkward.

Megan: Yeah, that dynamic would be interesting.

Michael: It would be even more awkward if they just dropped one of their Chasers or one of their Beaters. It would be less awkward if it wasn’t the Seeker who went or wasn’t the Keeper, but…

Shannen: Although, I guess teams probably have more members.

Megan: That’s true.

Shannen: They probably swap people in, especially if it goes on for days.

Lauren: Especially if they’re a big team because then they’ll have their reserves like we saw with Oliver.

Megan: Yeah.

Michael: That’s true.

Shannen: But still, it’s going to be awkward.

[Lauren and Michael laugh]

Lauren: And from Togo, we have the Tchamba Charmers. And they’re masters of the Reverse Pass…

Megan: Very impressive.

Lauren: … and I think we’ll see the Reverse Pass in Chapter 10 when we come to it.

Megan: Mhm. I think so.

Michael: Yeah. That’s a pretty major accomplishment.

Megan: Yeah.

[Michael laughs]

Shannen: Now that’s some good alliteration. Because even though they don’t start with the same letter it’s still an alliteration.

[Michael laughs]

Megan: Ah, yes!

Lauren: It’s still an alliteration; you are so right about that!

Michael: Tchamba Charmers!

Megan: I know there is a linguistic term for that but I can’t think of it.

Shannen: So Puddlemere United really has no excuse.

[Everyone laughs]

Lauren: They really don’t at this point. From Ethiopia, we have [the] Gimbi Giant-Slayers, and they are twice winners of the All-Africa Cup. So as there is a European Cup, there is apparently also an African Cup.

Michael: Cool.

Megan: Yeah.

Lauren: And then from Tanzania – I am going to butcher this so horrifically – we have the Sumbawanga Sunrays.

Michael: That’s how I would say it.

Megan: Yep. I love that name.

Shannen: I love that. Sunrays.

Megan: That whole name is fantastic.

Michael and Shannen: Yeah.

Lauren: Isn’t it beautiful? And they are a highly popular team. They do a lot of formation looping that delights all the crowds.

Michael: Oh, so they’re one of those teams that is good for an entertaining Quidditch match.

Lauren: Mhm, they are good for a very entertaining, very thrilling Quidditch match.

Michael: That’s cool.

Lauren: They’re very good. Now, we’re going to jump over to North America because this is my absolute favorite; it really… I think J.K. Rowling really did a great job explaining what North America… even the United States, what we would have done to Quidditch, is absolutely hilarious. I can’t wait to get into it.

Michael: We totally destroyed it.

Lauren: I can’t wait to get to it.

Megan: No, no, guys. We innovated. We made it better!

Michael: It’s very clever.

Megan: We’re Americans. We innovated it. We made it better!

Michael: It breaks my heart, but…

Megan: Well, Michael, you’re just an American.

Shannen: I love reading this section in context of all the new Fantastic Beasts stuff…

Michael: Yeah.

Shannen: … and all the stuff now we know about America because the first paragraph is like, “America is messed up.”

[Everyone laughs]

Megan: Yeah, America, you know…

Michael: Yeah, for all of the inconsistencies that people have seen cropping up with Fantastic Beasts, this one stayed consistent. She…

Shannen: “America is messed up.”

Michael: “America is messed up, and I’m going to make their stuff lame in comparison to everything else.” But it is very cleverly done, nonetheless.

Megan: It is true to what we would do.

Michael: Yeah, this is exactly what we would do. So tell us, Lauren, what horrible thing did we do?

Lauren: Okay. First, Quidditch reached the North American continent in the early 17th century, but it was slow to take hold due to anti-wizarding feeling which was unfortunately supported from Europe at the same time. Now, from that I can take reference that that was during the religious colonial period, the strongly religious colonialism of the eastern United States.

Megan: Pilgrims.

Lauren: And so with highly religious colonial settlements, there would be very strong anti-magic feelings and witch hunts…

Megan: Salem witch trials.

Lauren: … and suspicion of anything that was different. So great caution had to be exercised by wizard settlers because they were also trying to escape persecution of their own, but they had to also keep themselves secret from their colonial Muggle neighbors, so there was this big…

Michael: See, and listeners, this is… If you want to learn more about this, this is also a great opportunity to hop over to SpeakBeasty because they covered in more detail…

Lauren and Shannen: Mhm.

Lauren: Absolutely.

Michael: … Rowling’s entries on American wizardry, and specifically this era. And there is a new breed of wizard/Muggle hybrid through history that… Shannen, what is the name of these weird guys?

Shannen: Scourers.

Michael: Scourers…

Lauren and Shannan: Scourers.

Michael: … that kind of gets mixed up in all of this.

Lauren: Oh, wow.

Michael: They’re not developed at this point in the series but it seems that the room was perfectly left for them by what Rowling wrote here.

Shannen: Mhm.

Lauren: Awesome.

Michael: This is also consistent with what’s been brought up so far for Fantastic Beasts, so…

Lauren: So there are three rather well-established Canadian teams.

Shannen: I love this one.

[Lauren and Michael laugh]

Michael: Me, too!

Lauren: The Moose Jaw Meteorites…

Megan: Best name!

Shannen: [It’s] like they went, “What should we call our team? What’s in Canada? Moose. All right, we need another word that starts with M… Meteorites!”

[Everyone laughs]

Megan: Because we fly in the sky, guys!

Shannen: “Okay, Moose Meteorites is not enough syllables. What if we say Moose Jaw?”

[Everyone laughs]

Megan: Yep. Yes.

Shannen: “That’s perfect.”

Megan: Yes.

Lauren: I swear they were drunk on maple syrup.

[Megan laughs]

Michael: So we know which team Shannen supports in the American league.

Shannen: Yeah.

[Everyone laughs]

Shannen: Moose Jaw Meteorites.

Lauren: They were actually threatened with disbandment in 1970, due to their victory flights after winning Quidditch matches…

[Megan laughs]

Lauren: … taking place over neighboring towns and villages with highly visible fiery sparks emitting from their broomtails.

Michael: Oops.

Shannen: I love it.

Megan: They’re just experts at subtlety.

Lauren: So I’m just like, “Hmm, UFO sightings? Ooh…”

Megan: Oh!

Michael: Oh, hey.

Megan: Meteorites? UFO? Yeah. I believe it.

Lauren: Oh, good point. Thank you.

[Michael laughs]

Shannen: I wonder if there’s something…

Lauren: I didn’t even picture that until you said “Meteorites.” I’m like, “Oh my gosh, fiery tails! Meteorites. Yes!”

[Everyone laughs]

Shannen: I wonder if something specific happened in the ’70s that this is referencing.

[Lauren laughs]

Michael: Could be.

Lauren: Maybe.

Megan: I mean, it was the ’70s.

Michael: Some celestial event in Canada?

Shannen: I don’t know.

[Lauren and Megan laugh]

Megan: Oh, now we need to google that.

Lauren: Yay. They now keep the tradition to the confines of the Quidditch pitch and the show remains a great wizarding attraction. They also…

Michael: So they’re like the Sumbawanga Sunrays. They’re a good one to go watch.

Lauren: Exactly. And the two other teams of the Canadian league are the Haileybury Hammers and the Stonewall Stormers. Now, we don’t have anything really on them because…

Michael: But they are teams.

Megan: They are teams. They exist.

Lauren: They are teams.

Michael: [laughs] Go Canada.

Lauren: Now, down to the United States…

Shannen: Oh my God, guys!

Michael: Oh, did something happen in the ” 70s?

Shannen: “1970…”

[Lauren gasps]

Shannen: “… Tagish Lake, Yukon, Canada. While traveling along the edge of the lake, Jim and his wife saw seven strange glowing orbs.”

Megan: Oh my gosh!

[Lauren and Megan gasp]

Michael: Stop. Stop.

Shannen: [laughs] There’s a picture.

Lauren: Oh my God, no.

Megan: Guys, it’s real! Oh my gosh.

[Michael laughs]

Lauren: This is amazing! This is so amazing.

Megan: Oh my gosh.

Michael: Come on, Rowling.

Megan: J.K. Rowling is a witch.

Lauren: Oh my God.

Shannen: This seems like such a random, obscure website.

[Everyone laughs]

Shannen: It’s

[Everyone laughs]

Lauren: Oh my gosh.

Shannen: It looks like it was probably made in the ’70s.

[Megan laughs]

Michael: Well, we know where Rowling got her information from, then.

Shannen: Oh, that’s great.

Lauren: That is amazing.

Michael: That is fantastic.

Shannen: I’m so pleased.

Megan: Oh, yes.

Michael: That… ah, that’s great.

Megan: That’s like in Doctor Who, when there was a reference to a meteor crashing in Russia in 2015 and then it actually happened.

Shannen: Yeah.

[Michael laughs]

Megan: Or it was 2012 or something…

Lauren: I know. Oh my gosh.

Megan: … but it actually happened and there were videos and it was just like, “Oh my gosh. It’s all real. It’s all real!”

Lauren: Yeah, that was crazy.

Megan: Fandoms are real, guys!

Michael: That’s a nice note to end on the positivity of North America, before we go into how we ripped Quidditch into little pieces.

[Megan and Michael laugh]

Lauren: Now, the United States was not content with just Quidditch…

Lauren and Shannen: Oh, no!

Michael: Oh, God…

[Megan and Shannen laugh]

Lauren: We have a… Our main sport is called Quodpot…

[Michael groans]

Lauren: … and it was invented in the 18th century by the wizard Abraham Peasegood…

[Michael makes spitting sound]

Lauren: … who brought a Quaffle over from the old world, intending to start a Quidditch team.

Michael: A pox on Abraham Peasegood! A pox on you, sir! [makes spitting sound]

[Everyone laughs]

Lauren: After an accident where the Quaffle he brought over from Europe exploded in his face…

Megan: [laughs] So what does he do?

Lauren: He forgot about [Quidditch]. The Quaffle he brought over from Europe actually came into contact with his wand during [his] travels, and when he took out the Quaffle and started tossing it around, it exploded in his face.

Megan: Yep.

Michael: Which he thought was funny because apparently he had a robust sense of humor.

Lauren: Which he thought was hilarious. So he forgot about Quidditch entirely…

Shannen: I mean, if that happened to me, I would definitely drop everything and and try to figure out how to do it again.

[Everyone laughs]

Lauren: Exactly. He forgot about Quidditch entirely.

Megan: I mean, the other thing is: How do Americans celebrate our Independence Day? Blowing stuff up

Michael: Explosions.

Megan and Shannen: Yeah.

Lauren: He promptly started a new game that capitalized on the exploding leather balls…

Michael: [in a sarcastic tone] That’s great.

Lauren: … called Quodpot. The point of the game is to get the Quod – the modified Quaffle – into the pot, which is a cauldron equipped with a spell to prevent the Quod from exploding, at the end of the pitch before the ball explodes. Then a point is awarded to the team who scored and a new Quod is brought out onto the field. And while Quodpot has had some minor success in Europe, many of the wizards are still faithful to Quidditch.

Michael: Ugh.

Megan: Yeah, it just…

Shannen: I love the simplicity of it.

Megan: [laughs] Yeah.

[Lauren laughs]

Michael: Why are there 11 players per team? That is absurd.

[Lauren laughs]

Megan: Well, so the games can last a reasonable amount of time if you get it blown up in your face.

Shannen: There [are] probably about 700 fouls in this game.

[Everyone laughs]

Shannen: It seems pretty easy.

Megan: Well, how…? I want to know, can the…? While one team is trying to get their Quod into the pot, does the other team get to try and interfere? Or are they both doing it at the same time as a race?

Michael: Yeah, I think the idea is that the teams are fighting for the ball.

Megan and Shannen: Yeah.

Michael: But at the same time, you don’t want to be in possession of the ball. It’s weird because…

Megan: You do, but you don’t.

Michael: This is so sad because this – pun intended, I suppose – boils down to… this is a game of hot potato, you guys.

Shannen: Yeah.

Megan: It is!

Michael: It’s hot potato on brooms.

Lauren: [laughs] Oh my gosh, it is.

Megan: It is! I was totally just thinking that.

Lauren: That’s amazing.

Michael: This is so sad.

Megan: Americans, we’re very easily entertained.

Shannen: But here’s what I want to say. Quidditch is a super dangerous game, but it’s not that it’s inherently dangerous. I mean, it is, but what’s really dangerous about it is what all the other players are going to do to you.

Megan: Yeah. Yeah.

[Lauren and Michael laugh]

Lauren: Pretty much.

Shannen: Whereas Quodpot, it’s just… something is going to explode.

Megan: A matter of time.

[Michael laughs]

Shannen: You know that going in.

Lauren: Something’s going to explode.

[Megan laughs]

Michael: Is it?

Shannen: And I don’t… If I [were] playing this game, I would not be very focused on sabotaging the other team because I might get distracted and something might explode.

Megan: Yes.

Shannen: I think you’ve got to be very focused.

Michael: Okay, I retract my question about why there [are] 11 players because I forgot [that] if the Quod explodes in that person’s hand, that person is taken off the team.

Megan: Yeah, yeah.

Lauren: Mhm.

Michael: And which… that’s another very traditional American thing, slowly taking team members out of the game.

Megan: Yeah.

Michael: That’s more of a… that’s a very traditional thing for schoolyard games.

Shannen: It’s dodgeball.

Michael: Yeah, it’s dodgeball and hot… It’s dodgeball hot potato. Oh my God.

[Megan groans]

[Everyone laughs]

Shannen: God bless America.

Megan: I wonder how many young wizarding children in America are traumatized by Quodpot, like some are traumatized by dodgeball.

[Lauren laughs]

Michael: I mean, after this… It’s just salt in the wounds that after this we get stuck with “Ilvermorny” as our school name.

Megan: Yeah, where did that come from?

Michael: It’s sad.

Shannen: The French?

Michael: I do like, though, that you noted, Lauren, the, I guess, transition from soccer to football because this is that.

Megan: Yeah. Yeah, I noticed that, too. It’s definitely…

Lauren: I thought I saw some really big parallels there so I just wanted to make a little footnote about that.

Megan: Well, yeah, because in America we have football, but it’s not football in the rest of the world. No, no, no; we’re different. We’re special. We have different football. And oh, your football? No, no, no; that’s soccer. It’s totally different.

Michael: And the rest of the world is so enamored…

Megan: By football.

Michael: … by football, as they call it, and as we call soccer. Yeah, exactly.

Megan: And we’re the weird ones in that we’re not.

Michael: Yeah, we’re very indifferent to soccer. We are into “football.” Yeah.

Megan: That’s a large generalization.

Lauren: Pretty much. If it wasn’t made here, we don’t play it.

[Everyone laughs]

Megan: Yep.

Michael: But we do have some Quidditch teams!

Megan: Yes!

Lauren: Yes, we do; we have two international Quidditch teams. The Sweetwater All-Stars from Texas, who gained…

Michael: Yeah!

Megan: Woo!

Lauren: Yay Texas!

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: I’m legally obligated to represent because I live in Austin now, so…

[Lauren and Megan laugh]

Lauren: Yes, you have to.

Michael: … but I already supported them when I first read about them because I was in New Mexico, and I was like, “Oh my God, they’re the next state over. I’m totally the Sweetwater All-Stars fan!”

[Lauren laughs]

Michael: So yeah, go Sweetwater All-Stars! If I am supporting an American team, that’s who I have to support.

Shannen: And they beat the Quafflepunchers.

Michael: Yeah, they did beat the shocking pink French players.

Megan: I’m sure they felt very, very good about that.

Lauren: In a thrilling five-day match.

Michael: In a five-day match, yeah, that’s pretty good.

Megan: That is impressive.

Michael: Pretty good. Pretty good.

Lauren: And then we also have the Fitchburg Finches from Massachusetts…

Michael: So we know who Kat reps because she’s up in Boston!

[Everyone laughs]

Lauren: They won the US league seven times.

Megan: Bravo.

Lauren: And Seeker Maximus Brankovitch III has captained America at the previous two World Cups.

Megan: Cool stuff.

Michael: Oh, so he’s been outsourced, too.

Lauren: Pretty much. [laughs]

Shannen: So we have Muggle Quidditch.

Megan: Yes, we do.

Michael: Yeah.

Shannen: When are we going to start Muggle Quodpot?

[Everyone laughs]

Megan: How would we pull off the exploding?

Shannen: All we need is a few bombs…

Lauren: All we need is a hot potato!

Megan: All we need is what?

Michael: Just need a ball, and some bowls, and brooms. That’s it.

Lauren: A hot potato.

Shannen: Here’s what you do: It’s an alarm clock.

[Everyone laughs]

Lauren: Oh my gosh, that’s even better. I love it.

Shannen: And you toss the alarm clock around until it goes off.

Lauren: Yes.

[Michael laughs]

Shannen: I’m going to start this. You guys are my first team.

Lauren: Please do. I will sign up. I’ll sign up for it.

Megan: Or maybe we should take inspiration from… what is it? Is it Gobstones, the ones that squirt stinky fluid at the players?

Michael and Shannen: Yeah.

Michael: But the thing, though, is Gobstones is also the loser majority sport of Hogwarts.

Megan: Not popular! Yeah. It’s the nerd sport.

Michael: Yeah. So that’s… there you go, just compound the sadness.

Megan: Yep. Of course.

Michael: But shout-out for the American international team in the Quidditch World Cup. They probably are located somewhere in New England based on their stadium, which does look to be somewhere around Massachusetts. But it’s all, of course, decorated in colonial American garb and it’s got pumpkins floating all around it because I guess it’s eternally Halloween or something, so… [laughs]

Megan: Sure.

Lauren: Might be near Salem.

Michael: Maybe that’s it. Maybe that’s what they were going for.

Megan: Maybe it’s the Salem Witches Institute that is only mentioned…

Michael: Yeah, I think they were going for the very traditional, American witch and wizard kind of aesthetic.

Lauren: I think so. Yeah.

Michael: But the American team is a pretty good team. I am currently playing with them, trying to get them through the World Cup and they’re doing pretty darn good. They have a great Team Special Move, so…

Lauren: Yay!

Michael: And they’ve got a girl as one of their Chasers and their Seeker, so go American Team!

[Lauren and Michael laugh]

Lauren: Now, we only have two continents left, so we’re going to jump down to South America and…

Michael: They play Quodpot, too. [laughs]

Lauren: They play Quodpot, too.

Michael: How sad.

Megan: Yeah.

Lauren: But Quidditch does compete with Quodpot. But the further south you go, the more Quidditch there is and less Quodpot there is. The most skilled country is Peru, which is poised to become the first Latin World Cup player within the next ten years.

Michael: So that was written in Whisp’s time…

Lauren: It was, and that was in… when?

Michael: That would have been… well, it would have been pre… around the 1990s or slightly before that.

Megan: Right.

Lauren: 2001.

Michael: Well, the book was published in the Muggle world in 2001…

Shannen: Yeah.

Lauren: Oh, that’s very true.

Megan: But for Harry and Ron and everybody to be reading it, it would definitely have to be sometime in the ’90s.

Lauren: That’s very true.

Michael: It does not… oh. Well, Peru… let’s see. They have not… if they made it to the World Cup, we don’t know because the 1990 matches through 2010 have only given us the winners, and they were not present in 2014. Brazil was.

Lauren: Mhm.

Michael: So Brazil made it, but not Peru. But ostensibly, Peru might have made it in that time. So I’m going to say they did because Whisp seems to…

Megan: Let’s believe in Peru.

Michael: Yeah, I believe in you, Peru. Go Peru!

Megan: Yeah!

Lauren: Now, while there is no… well, I can’t find anything that says when Quidditch came to South America. Quidditch came to Peru when European wizards were sent by the International Confederation to monitor the numbers of Vipertooths, which is Peru’s native dragon.

Megan: I want to see a Vipertooth.

Lauren: I know, right? They’re going to be gorgeous, I swear.

Michael: Who is Peru’s team?

Lauren: Peru’s team is the – I am going to butcher this again – Tarapoto Tree-Skimmers.

Megan: That’s my guess.

Michael: That’s a cool name.

Lauren: And they recently… in Whisp’s time, they toured Europe with great acclaim and won over a bunch of people.

Michael: Cool. I like their name. Tree-Skimmers is a cool name for a Quidditch team. That’s clever.

Megan: Yes. It also just evokes [a] rainforest.

Michael: Yeah.

Lauren: It does, it does.

Michael: And I just really love that idea because the idea…

Megan: They’re flying on brooms and they can actually skim the trees…

Lauren: Oh, I like that.

Michael: Yeah, I think Harry skims the trees at some point during… when he flies around on his broom sometimes. It seems like a really pleasant thing to just soar right above tree level.

Megan: Maybe that was… wasn’t that in Book 1?

Lauren: Unless you get caught in a branch.

[Megan and Michael laugh]

Michael: Unless that happens.

Megan: Yes, then it’s not so great.

[Lauren laughs]

Michael: Last country.

Megan: But wasn’t it in Book 1 when he overheard Quirrell and Snape?

Michael: Yeah, he goes into the forest on his broom.

Megan: Yeah.

Lauren: That’s true.

Megan: Last continent!

Lauren: And we’re going to jump across the Pacific to Asia.

Michael: They don’t play Quidditch.

[Everyone laughs]

Lauren: They don’t play a lot of Quidditch, no, because it has not reached a great popularity due to the flying carpet still being the preferred method of travel.

Michael: Yeah.

Lauren: And it’s noted in Whisp’s book that the Ministries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, and Mongolia all regard Quidditch with great suspicion.

Michael: So I like this because this, to me, brings in an element of acknowledging… one, this acknowledges that there may in fact be religious beliefs still present in the wizarding world because…

Lauren: Mhm.

Megan: That’s true, yeah.

Michael: We know that there are because, of course, Rowling has been so kind as to confirm that there are students of different religions at Hogwarts. But it’s kind of interesting to see that there might be perhaps a clash of magic and religion on the Asian continent, and that might perhaps be the reason that Quidditch isn’t really… because yeah, that’s been explained before; I believe it’s mentioned a bit in Goblet of Fire, that flying carpets are still a thing.

Lauren: I think so.

Megan: But weren’t they outlawed in Britain, or something?

Lauren: They were trying to export them to Britain.

Michael: Yeah, they were trying to get them over to Europe.

Megan: Yeah, because there was something that Barty Crouch, Sr. was saying about [how] some grandfather or something had a flying carpet. But that was when they were still legal here. That whole thing.

Lauren: Legal. Yeah, absolutely.

Michael: But they do have Quidditch at least in one country.

Megan: Yep.

Lauren: Five guesses, and the first four don’t count.

[Everyone laughs]

Lauren: Japan!

Megan: Woo! Yay, Japan.

Michael: Not surprising at all.

Megan: No. Not at all.

[Michael laughs]

Megan: I love Japan.

Lauren: Japan has the – I’m going to butcher this again – Toyohashi Tengu.

Michael: I think that’s actually correct.

Megan: Sounds good to me. I watch anime in Japanese, yes. With subtitles.

[Michael laughs]

Lauren: Sounds legit.

Megan: Yep.

Lauren: Great. And while there’s not much of note about them…

[Megan laughs]

Lauren: “The Japanese practice of ceremonially setting fire to their brooms in case of defeat is… frowned upon by the International Confederation of Wizards’ Quidditch Committee [as] being a waste of good wood.”

[Everyone laughs]

Megan: That was just perfect because… yeah.

Lauren: [laughs] I absolutely love that little detail. I love it.

Shannen: Yeah..

Michael: I really like that acknowledgment because Japan… The funny thing is, listeners, too – those of you who aren’t from Japan – if you haven’t monitored it through the years of the fandom, Japan is crazy about Harry Potter and they just lapped it up in a way that, almost, the rest of us didn’t do in the same way. You should watch some [videos]. There’s a great video… oh my God, if you haven’t seen it, there is a great video of this girl who won a contest from Japan to go to the set of Harry Potter while they were filming, and she was told that she wasn’t going to meet anybody but that she was just going to get to see the set and she was perfectly fine with that.

Megan: I would be.

Michael: She could barely speak English, but she went to the set and [the] first thing that happened was that she got to sit in Dumbledore’s chair with the Sorting Hat on her head…

Megan: Oh!

Michael: … and Daniel Radcliffe popped up behind her…

[Lauren, Megan, and Shannen gasp]

Michael: … and was like, “Gryffindor, I think.” And she just flipped out.

Megan: Aww.

Michael: It is the most adorable video ever.

Megan: I need a link.

Michael: And she went through the whole… She popped into the Great Hall and she met Emma Watson. She went to another hallway and Rupert Grint came up behind her and she touched his eyelashes because she had never seen ginger eyelashes and they fascinated her.

Megan: That’s adorable!

[Lauren and Megan laugh]

Michael: It was… Again, they lapped up Harry Potter in an extreme and different kind of way.

Megan: As per usual with Japan.

Lauren: Oh, that’s beautiful.

Megan: Reasons I love them. Reasons I love Japan.

Michael: Japan is one of those countries that just loves to… They have such a rich culture of their own, but we have… in recent years there’s been a reversal and we are starting to really lap up their culture.

Megan: Yeah, yeah.

Michael: They have always been, too. They have this rich culture of their own but they also have created an amalgam that really welcomes a lot of western culture.

Shannen: Yeah.

Lauren: Mhm.

Michael: So I love that they are big on Quidditch and that in Quidditch Through the Ages, while France has a pretty stadium, Japan has the best stadium because theirs is over water.

Megan: [gasps] Of course. That’s awesome.

Lauren: Oh, wow.

Michael: And they definitely have the best team special move, and whenever they do anything you hear anime whip noises, whenever they move.

Lauren: Oh!

Megan: Yes!

Michael: So… [laughs] And their team is just decked out in the most awesome gear. They look totally cool. So yeah, Japan, you’re rocking the Quidditch. We love you. [laughs]

Lauren: So much. We love you so much.

Megan: Yes. Very much, yes.

Michael: So with all of those teams in mind, we’ll hop in and race through the development of the racing broom because Shannen is falling asleep.

Shannen: Ha, ha.

Megan: Yes.

[Everyone laughs]

Shannen: I really am.

Lauren Let’s go!

Michael: Chapter 9.

Shannen: I’ve got to be awake in six hours.

Lauren Aww.

Michael: We’re going to finish this. We’re going to finish this. We got this.

Megan: Yes, we can do it.

Lauren: Oh, no. Let’s hurry.

Michael: So Chapter 9, “The Development of the Racing Broom.” In the 19th century, brooms were incapable of high speeds and altitudes. I am going to go through this in a timeline format. So in 1820 Elliot Smethwyck invented the Cushioning Charm, which created an invisible cushion for your broom for added comfort, which was something I had been curious about because, as the book establishes, riding on a broom is very uncomfortable.

Shannen It took them a long time.

Michael: Yeah.

Megan: I also love the little diagram of the Cushioning Charm on a broom.

Michael: Yes, it’s a nice visual, isn’t it?

Megan: [laughs] Well, and just that it’s a broom. And a little dotted line for the cushion and then, “(Invisible.)”

Michael: Yes, it’s not… you can’t see it. Yeah, it’s a nice little touch. Yes, it did take a long time, considering that brooms were being flown around 982 or so. So yeah, that was a while. But…

Shannen: Everyone was just like, “I guess it’s uncomfortable. What can you do?”

[Michael laughs]

Megan: It’s a great game. Go play it.

Michael: I’m sure the actors from the films would’ve loved a Cushioning Charm because they have all said that it was extremely uncomfortable riding the brooms.

Megan: Yeah, I can see that.

Michael: One of the first known produced brooms with a name was the Oakshaft 79, which was created in the 19th century by Elias Grimstone. This broom had a higher endurance and could withstand high winds but it couldn’t handle sharp turns at high speeds. It was famously used by a witch – Jocunda Sykes – who I’ll talk about a little later because she comes up in 1935. But as we go into the 20th century, in 1901 we got the model the Moontrimmer, created by Gladys Boothby, which achieved much better height but demand outstripped supply because we’re still dealing with brooms that are being made by individuals rather than mass produced.

Shannen: Well, you know what? If Ollivander can make every wand used by someone in Britain then I think these people can make some brooms.

[Everyone laughs]

Megan That’s true. They also don’t have the magical cores.

Michael: I feel like even though wands… I feel like there’s a difference, I guess, in the manufacturing because wands don’t necessarily have charms on them.

Shannen: I guess.

Lauren: That’s true.

Michael: You know what I mean?

Megan: Well, and the other thing is I’ve always wondered if maybe since Ollivander’s family has been doing this for centuries… I would imagine that not every wand gets sold within the wandmaker’s lifetime, necessarily.

Shannen: Well, true.

Michael: That’s true.

Megan: And so maybe [the] Ollivander that we know hasn’t made all of the wands in his shop.

Michael: That would explain the massive amount of wands, I suppose.

Megan: Yes.

Michael: That’s true.

Megan: What is it…? Established 300… something… BC?

Michael: 382, I think.

Megan: Something like that.

Michael and Shannen: Yeah.

Michael: So they’ve been around for a while. Then we got the Silver Arrow, which was created by Leonard Jewkes. This is considered to be the true forerunner of the racing broom. It went up to 70 miles per hour and was the fastest broom of its time, but once again supply outstripped demand. But you can hear a nice little soliloquy about the Silver Arrow from Madam Hooch in Prisoner of Azkaban

Megan: [laughs] Yes.

Michael: … because when Harry presents his Firebolt to the team and Madam Hooch is present because she’s got to be on the pitch since Sirius Black might be there…

Megan: Oh, yes. Yes.

Michael: … she does give a nice little speech about the Silver Arrow she used to fly.

Megan: [laughs] Ah, nostalgia.

Michael: We move on to 1926 with a very familiar name: Cleansweep!

Lauren: Aha! The Cleansweep! Yay!

Michael: The Cleansweep! The Cleansweep Broom Company debuts with the Cleansweep One created by Bob, Bill, and Barnaby Ollerton. Fun little side note: They may be related to Gifford Ollerton, who was a giant slayer who lived from 1390 to 1441.

Lauren: Wow!

Shannen: Cool stuff.

Michael: Consider it very likely because there aren’t that many surnames in the wizarding world.

[Lauren and Michael laugh]

Megan: True.

Michael: This was…

Lauren If you think somebody’s related, they probably are.

Michael: They probably are.

Megan: Yes.

Michael: This is the first mass-produced racing broom, so the Cleansweep was the first one to have pretty massive success and was snatched up by every Quidditch team, but that monopoly didn’t last long because in 1929 their competitor came along. The Comet Trading Company debuted with the Comet 140, named the 140 because that’s how many models it took for them to perfect it, so it took a while.

Megan: Good reason.

Michael: This was created by Randolph Keitch and Basil Horton, who at the time were players for the Falmouth Falcons. This was patented… This included the patented Horton-Keitch Braking Charm, so there was a better braking system on this broom. But following in 1934, Cleansweep Two got its release. And in 1935 Jocunda Sykes, who was born in 1915 and is on a Wizard Card – that’s her first mention, actually, I believe in the Chamber of Secrets video game – she amazingly used an Oakshaft to fly across the Atlantic.

Lauren: Whoa.

Megan: Which is really cool.

Michael: She is seemingly meant to be the wizarding counterpart to Amelia Earhart.

Megan: Ooh, yeah, I hadn’t thought of that.

Michael: Luckily, though… according to her Wizard Card, she is still alive and she did not disappear in the Bermuda Triangle.

Megan: Yay!

Lauren: Well, actually, over the Pacific.

Michael: Yeah, that would’ve been the wrong way.

Megan Yeah, that was in the Pacific.

Michael: Yeah, that’s right. So that’s why she didn’t disappear.

Lauren: Sorry!

Michael: So if she goes flying over the Pacific any time soon that may not be a wise trip.

Megan: Yeah.

Lauren: Mhm. Exactly.

Michael: But the crossing was considered too dangerous for brooms, so she was the first one to prove that it could be done. I would think now, at least, it would be a little safer with the current brooms.

Megan: Probably.

Shannen: Mhm.

Michael: And this is one of the first instances in the canon that confirms that Apparition across continents is really not wise to do and it’s rarely attempted by none but highly skilled wizards.

Megan: Even Voldemort didn’t. Because in… toward the end when he’s… [in] he “Malfoy Manor” chapter when Harry is getting the flashes [it says], “Soon he’d be close enough to Apparate.” Isn’t there some line like that?

Shannen: Yeah. There is, I think.

Michael: Yeah. Well, and I think as far as Apparating, we’ve discussed before, too…

Megan: Mhm.

Michael: … that there seems to be an element of: If you’re not familiar with the destination, you would be unwise to try to go there.

Megan: Yeah. [It] makes sense if you… Yeah, what is it? Determination, deliberation…?

Michael: Destination, [deliberation]… destination.

Megan: Three D’s. That one.

Michael: The three D’s.

Lauren: Three D’s.

Michael: So we move on through the ’30s to ’37. The Cleansweep Three has been released, and right afterward in ’38, the Comet 180 is released. In 1940, Ellerby and Spudmore – bless their little hearts – debut the Tinderblast.

Megan: I love that name.

Michael: One of the biggest failures. [laughs]

Megan: Tinderblast!

Michael: The Tinderblast is resilient but outrun by the Cleansweep and the Comet. So it really doesn’t have much to offer in the way of things. By the way – fun little side note – this is basically the equivalent of going through the car section of consumer reports.

[Lauren and Megan laugh]

Megan: It is. Oh my gosh.

Michael: [In] 1952, Ellerby and Spudmore [sighs] tried once again with a new bottle. This one would [be] called the Swiftstick, so they just decided to ditch the Tinderblast. And it is improved; it does improve the Tinderblast speed, but it loses power in its ascent. Unfortunately, Ellerby and Spudmore never managed to get their brooms used by a professional Quidditch team. Although, comparatively, they didn’t fail quite as big as in 1958, [when] Universal Brooms Ltd. debuted their company with the Shooting Star. It was the cheapest racing broom on the market but it was quickly discovered to lose speed and height with age, so it didn’t really last very long. It would seem, based on the evidence we have, that these are in fact the brooms that are used at Hogwarts. I believe in one book it might possibly even be mentioned that Shooting Stars are the brooms that they use.

Megan: I think so. I think Fred and George mention it or something. Or Harry has to ride them during practice while they’re testing the Firebolt.

Michael: Yeah, I think in Prisoner he has to ride a Shooting Star, so…

Lauren: I think so.

Megan: At least during practice because, luckily enough, they finished all their tests before the game.

Michael: Yes, so he does…

Megan: Not that McGonagall had anything to do with that, of course.

[Michael and Shannen laugh]

Lauren: Absolutely.

Michael: Rather unfortunate, the brooms that the Hogwarts students have to ride.

Megan: Yeah.

Michael: This might maybe even explain what happened to poor Neville with his broom.

Megan: Aww. Poor Neville.

[Michael laughs]

Lauren: Very true.

Michael: [It] may not have been all his fault if he was riding a Shooting Star. In ’67, we have one of the major players… the Nimbus Racing Broom Company debuted with the Nimbus 1000, which could hit 100 miles per hour…

Lauren: Woo!

Michael: … and make 360 degree turns at a fixed point in midair.

Megan: That is impressive.

Lauren: Ooh.

Michael: As we would later see, subsequent models included the 1001, the 1500, the 1700, and as we know, the 2000 and the 2001. These later two models are likely not mentioned in Quidditch Through the Ages because Rowling was trying to reflect through Whisp that it had been written before Harry’s time.

Megan: Oh. That makes sense.

Michael: So it’s a nice little acknowledgement of that.

Megan: Also, I noticed that they could reach up to 100 miles per hour with a tailwind. So what was their actual top speed without any help? That’s what I wonder.

Lauren: Ooh.

Michael: Hmm.

Shannen: Yeah.

Megan: I mean, regardless, that is really fast.

Michael: It’s still pretty fast. [laughs]

Megan: I don’t… Mm, that’s scary. I am not a Gryffindor.

[Michael laughs]

Megan: Proud Ravenclaw. Ca-caw!

Michael: But reverting back to the mammoth failure of Universal Brooms Ltd…

[Megan laughs]

Michael: … exactly 20 years after their founding, Universal Brooms Ltd. folded. They couldn’t make it in the broom industry. And we didn’t get any more major developments until the ’90s when Flyte and Barker debuted with the Twigger 90…

[Megan laughs]

Michael: … which included some very flashy features such as a warning whistle and a self-straightening brush which sounds a lot like some of the cars we have today.

Shannen: Yeah.

[Megan laughs]

Michael: They are known to be “flown by wizards with more Galleons than sense.”

[Megan laughs]

Michael: Now, Rowling actually completed this history because that’s where the history stops in the book.

Lauren: Mhm.

Michael: If you want a further exploration… because of course, again, Rowling was acknowledging that there was a timeline for Whisp’s book. And it is mentioned. The book is mentioned – currently rereading it myself – it’s mentioned a lot in Sorcerer’s Stone, Quidditch Through the Ages. But as a fun little titbit, in the late 20th century, the Nimbus Racing Broom Company dominated its competition and the 2001 outsold all other brooms. But little did Nimbus designers realize that a racing broom was in development that would knock them from their number one spot within 12 months of its release. The Firebolt was a top secret project developed by Randolph Spudmore. Interestingly, Randolph was the son of Able Spudmore, of Ellerby and Spudmore who produced the Tinderblast.

Megan: Aww. Oh my gosh.

[Michael laughs]

Shannen: A triumphant return.

Megan: Yes.

Michael: He did save his…

Megan and Michael: His family name.

Michael: Yes.

Shannen: Good for him.

Michael: A skillful and innovative broom designer, Randolph was the first to use goblin-made ironwork, including footrests, a stand, and twig bands – the secret of which are not fully understood but which seem to give the Firebolt additional stability and power in adverse weather conditions – and a special non-slip footgrip that is of particular advantage to Quidditch players. So the model that you see in the movies with those footstands and everything, that does seem to be…

Megan: Accurate.

Michael: … canon to some degree, yes.

Megan: Hooray!

Michael: The one thing we got right in the movies.

Lauren: Awesome!

Megan: Woo!

Michael: The handle is of polished ebony, and the twigs of birch or hazel, according to personal preference.

Lauren: Ooh.

Michael: Birch is reputed to give more “oomph” in high ascents, whereas hazel is preferred by those who prefer hair-trigger steering. The Firebolt is a costly broom and, interestingly, as this Pottermore article reveals, Harry Potter was among the first to own one.

Lauren: Ah!

Michael: It continues to be made in relatively small quantities, partly because the goblin workers involved in the patented ironwork are prone to strikes and walkouts at the smallest provocation.

[Everyone laughs]

Shannen: Oh, gosh.

Megan: I love the goblins.

Shannen: Me, too.

Michael: Unfortunately, Randolph didn’t quite have some forward-thinking on that when he was enlisting the goblins to help, but Pottermore also helped us out with some broom developments in the 21st century. We don’t have a lot of information on it but the Quidditch World Cup in 2014 revealed that the Firebolt came out with… their current model is the Firebolt Supreme.

Shannen: Of course.

Michael: So get rid of your old Firebolts, kids; [the] Firebolt Supreme is the new in-broom. Interestingly, the Firebolt Company has competition these days from the Thunderbolt Company who have produced…. currently their latest model, at least by 2014, was the Thunderbolt VII. Though the Thunderbolt really doesn’t seem to be a wise purchase; they appear to have sacrificed safety for speed as was seen in the 2014 Quidditch World Cup as they failed to hold up against Bludger impacts, which is below standard for league-approved brooms. When they were hit by Bludgers, they were found to actually go off course, which is not what a broom is supposed to do. We also got some interesting reveals for a few international broom companies outside of Europe. From Brazil, we’ve got the Varápidos, which essentially means: They go quickly.

[Everyone laughs]

Megan: I mean…

Michael: Excellent name, excellent name. Hopefully not false advertisement.

Megan: Hopefully not.

Michael: In Japan, we’ve got Yajirushi, which translates essentially to “arrow sign.”

[Megan laughs]

Michael: So it’s basically more translating to a concept, it would seem to be.

Megan: I would guess.

Lauren: “Go forward.”

Michael: Yeah, “moving forward.”

Megan: Quickly, I hope.

[Lauren laughs]

Michael: And those of us here in America, specifically in the US of A, would seem to be using the Starsweeper. And if you’ve got the latest model, you are using the Starsweeper XXI.

Megan: Cool stuff.

Michael: That’s what we’re riding on over here.

Lauren: It’s super cool.

Michael: And Shannen is going to wrap up this epic episode…

Shannen: All right.

Michael: … with a little bit of Quidditch from today.

Shannen: Supposedly.

Megan: Or, you know, the ’90s.

Michael: Or really, maybe, not so much?

Shannen: So yeah. Chapter 10 is called “Quidditch Today” but that’s not what it’s about at all.

[Everyone laughs]

Shannen: I mean, the first paragraph is like, “Quidditch happens today. And it’s great.”

[Lauren and Michael laugh]

Megan: Really! Tell us more!

Shannen: And then after that it’s pretty much just a list of difficult moves that have been invented by witches and wizards eager to push themselves in the game as far as they can go. All right, so the first move listed here is the Bludger Backbeat, which is essentially backhanding the Bludger with your club rather than hitting it forward.

Michael: Which team is the one who could do that really [well]? There was a team who could do that really [well], right?

Megan: Oh, it was one of the international teams. Who was it?

Shannen: No, it doesn’t say here.

Michael: Yeah.

Megan: It was earlier in the doc.

Shannen: It must have said it somewhere else. The next one is the Dopplebeater Defense, where both Beaters hit a Bludger at the same time…

Michael: That’s intense.

Shannen: … resulting in a Bludger attack of greater severity.

Michael: Oof.

Shannen: The Double Eight Loop, which is where the Keeper swerves around all three goal hoops at high speed to block the Quaffle…

Michael: I’m assuming that means… is that like an infinity symbol?

Megan and Shannen: Yeah.

Shannen: That’s what I was thinking.

Lauren: I would assume.

Michael: That’s how I pictured it because that would seem to effectively cover all three hoops, right?

Laura, Michael, and Shannen: Yeah.

Michael: By the way…

Shannen: Yeah, it says it’s…

Michael: Oh. I was just going to say that we were thinking of the wrong move: The Reverse Pass, which you’re going to get to, is the one we’re looking at.

Shannen: Yeah.

Megan: Oh, okay.

Michael: Yeah, we’ll get there.

Megan: Okay.

Shannen: The Double Eight Loop is usually employed against penalty takers, so…

Michael: Oh, you can do that? That seems really unfair.

[Megan and Michael laugh]

Shannen: Yeah!

Megan: I mean, there’s still a goalie in penalty for soccer.

Michael: Yeah, that’s true.

Megan: Same premise.

Shannen: The Hawkshead Attacking Formation, which… I love this one. The Chasers form an arrowhead pattern and fly together toward the goalposts, which is highly intimidating to opposing teams and effective in forcing other players aside.

Megan: I want to see the Holyhead Harpies’ Chasers doing that.

Shannen: Yeah.

Lauren: Totally.

Michael: You can actually watch this move go down if you play Quidditch World Cup.

[Megan gasps]

Michael: Quite a few teams employ the Hawkshead Attacking Formation…

Megan: Yeah.

Michael: … and as a reminder, that was created by Darren O’Hare of the Kenmare Kestrels.

Lauren: Oh.

Shannen: Mhm. True. Parkin’s Pincer, so-named for the original members of the Wigtown Wanderers…

[Megan laughs]

Shannen: … who are reputed to have invented this move. Two Chasers close in on an opposing Chaser on either side while the third flies headlong toward him or her.

Lauren: So it’s like playing chicken on brooms?

Michael and Shannen: Yes.

Michael: We didn’t…

Megan: With people coming at you from the sides.

Lauren: Ugh.

Michael: This full move isn’t employed… the first half of it is used in the Sorcerer’s Stone movie when two of the Chasers from Slytherin tag-team Angelina Johnson and take her out.

Megan: Oh, yeah. Boo!

Lauren: Oh my gosh, you’re right.

Michael: Yeah. So that’s kind of that move.

Megan: Mhm. I remember that, yeah.

Michael: Instead of a third player, they just shove her into the stands.

[Lauren and Michael laugh]

Megan: And just leave her crumpled on the ground.

[Michael laughs]

Megan: “Rough game, Quidditch.”

Michael: That’s a good move. That’s a strong move.

Shannen: Plumpton Pass, which we’ve… it’s come up earlier.

[Michael and Megan laugh]

Shannen: So it’s a Seeker move: a seemingly careless swerve that scoops the Snitch up one’s sleeve. And it’s named after Roderick Plumpton, who was Seeker of the Tutshill Tornadoes and caught the Snitch in a record-breaking three and a half seconds in 1921. I like [that] it says, “Although some critics have alleged that this was an accident, Plumpton maintained until his death that he had meant to do it.”

Megan: “I totally meant to do that, guys!”

[Michael laughs]

Shannen: That’s nice.

Lauren: “I did that on purpose.”

Michael: I like that it’s named “Pass” and it’s not passing a ball, but literally, the ball is passing through your robes.

Shannen: Yeah.

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: Clever, very clever.

Megan: Yep.

Shannen: The Porskoff Ploy…

Michael: Ooh.

Shannen: … which is [when] the Chaser carrying the Quaffle flies upward, leading opposing Chasers to believe they’re trying to escape them to score, but then they throw the Quaffle down to a fellow Chaser waiting to catch it. It is named after the Russian Chaser Petrova Porskoff.

Michael: In my head, this is an awesome-looking move.

Megan and Shannen: Yes.

Michael: That would take some mad skills because you have to… that’s another thing about Quidditch World Cup. That’s why if you play it, you’ll appreciate this move. There are so many times when you throw the Quaffle and you think your teammates are right next to you, and there’s just nothing and the Quaffle just goes drifting down.

[Megan and Shannen laugh]

Michael: Quidditch World Cup sets up the Chasers’ moves as: If you do them well, you’re doing what are called combo moves. So if you hit the buttons a certain way, the Quaffle just shoots really quickly between the Chasers and the screen will say, “Combo One, Combo Two, Combo Three,” as the Chasers catch it. And they do all these really fancy moves as they’re catching the Quaffle. But again, if you’re not keeping track of your Chasers and they are flying out of your range, you’ll be confidently throwing combos and then suddenly the other team will have stolen the Quaffle from you and you’re right in front of the opposing goal hoops.

Lauren: Ah.

Michael: So the Porskoff Ploy; that’s a strong… that’s a good move if you can…

Megan: Pull it off.

Shannen: Mhm.

Michael: … if you can pass it off. [laughs]

Shannen: Well, and the next one we mentioned: The Reverse Pass…

Megan: Yes!

Shannen: … which has the shortest description. It just says, “A Chaser throws the Quaffle over one shoulder to a team member. Accuracy is difficult.”

[Megan and Michael laugh]

Lauren: You don’t say.

Michael: And that was Africa’s Tchamba Charmers from Togo.

Lauren and Shannen: Yeah.

Michael: So that’s a pretty hard move, I would imagine.

Megan: Yes.

Michael: “Hope you’re behind me.”

[Lauren and Shannen laugh]

Megan: It’s rather like walking backward.

[Lauren laughs]

Michael: What if you threw…? I could see that move ending with a lot of Quaffles being thrown and smashing people’s noses.

Megan: Yes.

Lauren: Oh, yeah.

Michael: Because that needs some accuracy.

Shannen: The moves really only get better from here.

[Everyone laughs]

Shannen: The Sloth Grip Roll, which [is] hanging upside down off the broom, gripping tightly with hands and feet to avoid a Bludger.

Megan: Harry definitely did that.

Michael: There is a card for this in the Harry Potter Trading Card Game and I think it actually depicts Harry doing this move. And he looks terrified, appropriately terrified.

Megan: He probably had to do it in Chamber with the rogue Bludger.

Michael: [laughs] He probably did.

Megan: Multiple times.

Shannen: The next one comes with a handy dandy figure, which…

[Megan and Michael laugh]

Shannen: … I wrote that Kennilworthy Whisp is not as good of an illustrator as Newt Scamander, I think.

[Megan laughs]

Michael: I was going to say, this may end… talking out of the context of canon, this may possibly be Rowling’s worst drawing.

[Everyone laughs]

Shannen: It’s appropriate.

Megan: Oh, yes.

Shannen: So this is for Starfish and Stick, which is when the Keeper holds the broom horizontally with one hand and one foot curled around the handle while keeping all limbs outstretched. And my favorite thing about this is [that] it then says, “The Starfish Without Stick should never be attempted.”

[Everyone laughs]

Lauren: Yes!

Michael: That’s a really fun one because I think the first time you read it, you have to think about it for just a split second…

Shannen: Yeah.

Michael: … and you’re like, “Oh, yeah.”

[Michael and Shannen laugh]

Megan: That’s like a Darwin Awards story.

Michael: Yeah.

Megan: It’s like, “I tried! But I thought I’d try it without the stick. So now I’m a ghost.”

Michael: Interestingly, the Starfish and Stick doesn’t pop up in Quidditch World Cup but it does pop up in the Sorcerer’s Stone PC game…

Lauren: Oh.

Michael: … because you just see the Keeper randomly doing it sometimes. [laughs] So it’s a weird little…

Megan: Not even to get a Quaffle?

Michael: No, yeah, you’ll just see the players slip off their brooms like that and then just pop back onto their brooms.

Shannen: They’re just bored.

Michael: So somebody had obviously been reading this text.

Megan: That doesn’t inspire much confidence in their flying skills.

Michael: I feel like this is one of those moves that Ron would have done by accident during Half-Blood Prince.

Shannen: Yes.

Megan: Oh, yes. Absolutely.

Lauren: Definitely.

Michael: I think it’s only effective if you definitely know what hoop they’re going for…

Megan: Yeah.

Michael: … but it sounds like you really have to stage this with the knowledge of which hoop it’s going to be because if you set it up on the far left hoop, then the Chaser can just go to the far right.

[Lauren and Megan laugh]

Megan: Yep.

Lauren: Mhm.

Shannen: And then you look really ridiculous.

[Lauren, Megan, and Michael laugh]

Megan: Yep.

Michael: Yes, you do.

Megan: We know Ron is good at that. Poor thing.

[Michael and Shannen laugh]

Shannen: The next one is the Transylvanian Tackle…

[Megan laughs]

Shannen: … which was first seen at the World Cup of 1473. This is a fake punch aimed at the nose.

[Megan laughs]

Shannen: As long as contact is not made, the move is not illegal.

[Everyone laughs]

Michael: It’s just an intimidation move. I like that. This isn’t even magic, it’s just straight up punching in the face. I like that.

Megan: Yep.

Shannen: Yeah, it has nothing to do with broomstick skill. It’s just, “I’m gonna pretend to punch you in the face.”

Michael: Yeah, it’s old-fashioned fisticuffs.

Megan: I mean, wizards are not opposed to Muggle dueling.

Lauren: That’s true.

Michael: Yeah, I like that. I do feel like it’s a little underwhelming, considering what we’ve seen of Transylvania, but…

Megan: [laughs] Yeah! Where are the bats?

Michael: I feel like this would be more threatening if it [were] like, “The Transylvanian Bite, where the werewolves on the Transylvanian team…”

[Lauren and Megan laugh]

Michael: “… look like they’re going to bite your nose off…”

[Megan groans]

Michael: “… but as long as the teeth [don’t] make contact, it’s legal.”

[Everyone laughs]

Megan: Oh my gosh.

Michael: That’s more what I was thinking with Transylvania, but okay.

Megan: That’s more what I would picture, too.

Michael: Also, this is not a tackle, but okay. [laughs]

Shannen: [laughs] The person probably tries to dodge and falls, and it’s like they were tackled.

Michael: No, I think this is just more of that desperate attempt at alliteration in Quidditch.

Megan: Yes.

Shannen: I mean…

Michael: It’s getting sad now.

Shannen: I mean… no.

Michael: Yeah, you tried.

Lauren: They are fond of their alliteration.

Megan: Yes. Alliteration is great.

Shannen: This does not have alliteration.

Michael: Uh-oh.

Shannen: The Woollongong Shimmy…

Lauren: [laughs] I love that name.

Shannen: … which was perfected by the Australian Woollongong Warriors, is a high-speed zigzagging movement intended to throw off opposing Chasers.

Michael: That’s cool.

Shannen: So, I like that it’s called [the] Shimmy. And then the last one in here [that] we all know about is the…

Michael: Ahh…

Megan: Yes.

Michael: The classic.

Shannen: The Wronski Feint.

[Michael laughs]

Shannen: Where a Seeker hurtles towards the ground, pretending to have seen the Snitch far below, but pulls out of the dive just before hitting the pitch. Named after the Polish Seeker, Josef Wronski.

Megan: Or it’s the Wonky Faint.

Michael: Yes, the Wonky Faint.

Megan: As per Hermione.

[Lauren laughs]

Shannen: So we know that Viktor Krum used this in the 1994 Quidditch World Cup, and it was unsuccessfully attempted in the 2014 Quidditch World Cup by German Seeker, Thorsten Pfeffer. And he ultimately collided with the ground at 60 miles per hour…

Michael: Oof.

[Megan laughs]

Shannen: … and only survived because he was very quickly given Skele-Gro. But he had broken most of the bones in his body and, at least temporarily, believed himself to be a budgerigar…

[Lauren laughs]

Megan and Michael: Budgerigar.

Megan: Which, I’m pretty sure, that’s a parrot?

Michael: Yeah, I was going to say, that’s a bird of some sort.

Megan: I’m pretty sure it’s a parrot… named Klaus. It’s adorable.

Michael: Yeah, it’s a parrot.

[Lauren, Megan, and Shannen laugh]

Michael: Like a little, tiny parrot.

Megan: That’s adorable!

Shannen: A German parrot named Klaus.

Megan: Oh, that’s amazing.

Michael: That’s funny.

Megan: Oh, yes.

[Lauren laughs]

Shannen: And then there’s a little final page that has this paragraph that you could almost miss, so I figured I’d just read it out.

Michael: Please.

Shannen: “There can be no doubt that Quidditch has changed beyond all recognition since Gertie Keddle first watched ‘those numbskulls’ on Queerditch Marsh. Perhaps, had she lived today, she too would have thrilled to the poetry and power of Quidditch. Long may the game continue to evolve and long may future generations of witches and wizards enjoy this most glorious of sports!”

And that is Quidditch Through The Ages.

Michael: Viva la Quidditch!

Shannen: I’m going to be honest, I think that Gertie Keddle would not appreciate the poetry and power of Quidditch today.

Megan: No! No, she wouldn’t.

Michael: No.

Megan: Not at all.

Michael: No.

Lauren: Highly doubt it.

Michael: Gertie Keddle would be like: [old woman’s voice] “What a stupid book!”

Megan: She just strikes me as that… yep.

[Lauren and Michael laugh]

Megan: She’s that really set-in-her-ways old lady. I don’t know how to describe it. Anyway…

Michael: I think that’s fitting though that the originator [and] recorder of Quidditch was the one who hated it the most. That’s [a] lovely little bit of poetry there and probably would be lost on her, but…

Megan: Oh, yes.

Michael: Nice little tidbit.

Megan: Yep. More than likely.

Lauren: So, thank you, Megan Foster for being on the program with us tonight. That was awesome; we enjoyed having you so much. You’re so funny!

Megan: Yeah, it was so fun!

Michael: And, I should also say, in addition to the excellent job that Megan did, I want to also make sure and thank Lauren and Shannen for stepping in for us – kind of a little bit last minute…

Shannen: Aww.

Michael: … and getting some great notes in here.

Lauren: Yeah.

Michael: Shannen’s almost falling asleep – she’s got to get up for work – but she did a great job. And Lauren, you did a great job…

Megan: Yes!

Michael: … as a newbie intern at MuggleNet!

Lauren: She did. Yay! Woo!

Shannen: Yeah.

Lauren: We all did a great job.

Michael: This episode was ridiculously long…

Shannen: It is.

Michael: It may not turn out this way, listeners, in the final edit, but it is almost three hours long.

Megan: Yep!

Michael: So, we’ll see how that goes.

[Lauren laughs]

Michael: Probably mostly because I sang. [laughs]

Megan: Yes, but that needs to stay.

Shannen: But that’s the best part of it.

Lauren: Hey, we enjoyed it.

Michael: Yes, we can’t take that.

Shannen: We don’t need to release the other two hours and fifty-five minutes.

[Lauren, Megan, and Shannen laugh]

Michael: Blah, blah, blah…

Shannen: Yeah.

Michael: Kennilworthy Whisp is going on and on and on. And we didn’t even include all of the extra bits about Quidditch, like all of the stuff that’s been written by Rowling [on Pottermore]. We encourage you listeners to go check it out…

Megan: Yes.

Michael: … and maybe we will explore that in the future on Alohomora! in a topic episode.

Lauren: Absolutely. Ooo!

Shannen: Yes.

Michael: Shannen, tell us more about that.

Shannen: If you want to submit, we’re about to start topic episodes, right? This is the last book episode. This is crazy.

Michael: Yes, this is the last book episode.

Shannen: So, Alohomora! will now be doing topic episodes, and you can submit a topic by going to the Alohomora! main site and going to the submit page and suggest a topic. And if you want to be on the show, like any of us who are on the show today…

Michael: [laughs] Because you’re all guests, as much as hosts.

[Megan laughs]

Shannen: If you have a set of Apple headphones, then that’s all you need. If you have any other sort of microphone and headphone, then you’re good too.

Michael: Yeah, there’s more stuff.

Shannen: There is.

Michael: But, Apple Headphones…

Shannen: You don’t need fancy equipment. So you can go on the main page and ask to be on the show.

Michael: And Lauren, tell them how they can keep in touch with us.

Lauren: Well, there is the Twitter @AlohomoraMN and then there’s the [and] our website Or you could send an Owl to audioBoom at, but please keep it under 60 seconds.

Michael: Yep, that way we can play it on the show and we can fit it in. Obviously, we didn’t have time for any of those because there was some very important singing to do.

Megan: Yes!

Lauren: Absolutely.

Michael: [laughs] But we’re definitely going to be wanting to hear your listener voices on future topic episodes because, while the schoolbooks were just little self-contained episodes, we definitely want to get you guys more back into the conversation as we go forward with topics. Speaking of getting you guys in on the show, we want to remind you one more time to check out our Patreon page. You can sponsor us at for as low as one dollar a month. It helps to keep Alohomora! going past the main episodes into our topic discussions, and it also allows us to do extra special stuff, as we mentioned before, like exploring doing Let’s Play videos – as I mentioned Quidditch World Cup many times. Maybe you can finally see me play the game.

Megan: I would watch that.

Michael: I do like to fancy that I have fairly entertaining commentary when I play that game.

Megan: Based on movie watches, I’d say so.

Lauren: You are a fairly entertaining person.

Michael: [laughs] I would hope so.

[Lauren laughs]

Michael: I’d love to play it with somebody. Unfortunately, Rosie and I will be playing games on different continents, and we won’t be able to join up on Quidditch World Cup because the capacities for that have not been developed quite yet – at the game’s development. But we will at least be able to play the game a little bit now that you guys have helped us out on Patreon. And before we outro, I just want to say this has been a pretty amazing experience, going through the schoolbooks. I think the general consensus from the listenership is that a lot of people haven’t explored the schoolbooks terribly in depth actually because they were more recent pieces of Potter history, and a lot of even devoted Potter fans have only kind of glimpsed them once or twice.

Megan: Yeah, I mean, I…

Michael: I think that’s safe to say… oh, go ahead, Megan.

Megan: I hadn’t actually read Quidditch Through The Ages, so for the last couple of days I’ve been sprinting through it in my very, very short spare moments. And I still haven’t read Fantastic Beasts. I keep meaning to.

[Shannen gasps]

Megan: I know, I know, I’m a terrible Harry Potter fan. It’s been on my list of things to read, but I kept being like, “Oh no, I’ll order the box set from Barnes and Noble,” and I just keep forgetting.

Shannen: Even before we were going to have a Fantastic Beasts podcast and before there was going to be a movie, I read Fantastic Beasts a lot.

Megan: I mean…

Michael: Yeah, I was like…

Shannen: Because it’s so easy.

Megan: Oh yeah, I don’t doubt, given that it was, what, one episode, right?

Shannen: Yeah.

Megan: So, I gathered pretty quick.

Michael: Yeah, we did one episode. Listeners, again, go wild with comments this week. We know you’ve been slowing down because we haven’t been asking a lot of questions, but we do want to hear – we definitely want to hear – favorite Quidditch teams, favorite Quidditch moves, and help us out fleshing out this plot for Gwenog Jones and the Holyhead Harpies, please.

Megan: Yes! We need a thread for that. Get it going now!

[Michael laughs]

Lauren: Savage Skies.

[Megan and Michael laugh]

Michael: It’s going to be a thing. But for now we close our copies of Quidditch Through The Ages, we hop on our Firebolt Supremes because we’re just that good…

Megan: Yes!

Michael: … and we fly off from this episode.

Megan: Yes.

Lauren: We are that cool.

Michael: I am Michael Harle.

Shannen: I am Shannen Michaelsen.

Lauren: And I’m Lauren Littler. Thank you for listening to Episode 196 of Alohomora!

[Show music begins]

Shannen: [yawns] Open the Dumbledore.

[Everyone laughs]

Megan: That’s it, that’s the one.

Lauren: That was perfect.

[Show music continues]