Transcript – Episode 98

[Show music begins]

Caleb Graves: This is Episode 98 of Alohomora! for August 23, 2014.

[Show music continues]

Caleb: Hey guys, welcome to another episode of Alohomora! I’m Caleb Graves.

Noah Fried: I’m Noah Fried.

Kat Miller: And I’m Kat Miller. And our special fan guest today is Harrison Tu. Welcome, Harrison.

Harrison Tu: Well, thank you very much. I’m really glad to be on the show.

Kat: Tell the listeners a little bit about yourself – your house, your wand, if you know your Patronus, all that stuff.

Harrison: Well, in real life I am a second year Economics student at the University of California Riverside. My house, I would say… Pottermore sorted me into Ravenclaw, but I am in total disagreement of that. I am a Gryffindor through and through. I don’t want to believe what Pottermore told me because they’re not true.

[Kat laughs]

Caleb: Well, you are certainly welcome in Gryffindor.

Harrison: Yes, I’m a Gryffindor. Sorry, Kat.

Kat: No, it’s okay.

Harrison: But… so I am a self-proclaimed Gryffindor. As far as the Patronus, I don’t know what my Patronus would be because I’m not really that type that is very nature-y, so my Patronus probably… if these things were around in the wizarding world, my Patronus would probably be my iPhone, which is…

[Kat laughs]

Harrison: … kind of strange.

[Caleb laughs]

Harrison: But that’s probably what it would be. And I do have a Harry Potter wand.

Noah: Is it Harry Potter’s wand, or is it…?

Harrison: Yes, it’s Harry Potter’s wand.

Noah: Oh.

Harrison: I mean…

Noah: So it’s holly.

Harrison: … it’s a replica of Harry Potter’s wand.

[Kat and Noah laugh]

Noah: I just want to remind everybody to read Chapter 20: “Hagrid’s Tale.” It’s an excellent chapter. It’s a story within a story, actually, and we remind you to read it now before you listen to the rest of the show because it’s what we’re talking about today.

Harrison: And I figure I’ll bring this up here for you international listeners: I am proud to say I have not read the chapter in English. So in French you should have read “Chapitre Vingt: Le Récit de Hagrid”; in Dutch you should have read “Hoofdstuk Twintig: Hagrids Verhaal”; in Spanish you should have read “Capítulo Veinte: La Historia de Hagrid.” And for all other languages, there’s just too many to list.

Kat: Wow! That’s impressive.

Caleb: Impressive, yeah. And with that reminder that we’ve never gotten on Alohomora!

[Kat laughs]

Caleb: … we’re going to take a look at your comments from last week’s episode, which covered Chapter 19 of Order of the Phoenix. And the first comment comes on the topic of the “Weasley Is Our King” chant. I wrote “chang” in the docs, so…

Kat: Whoops.

Caleb: … that is not what it is; it is a chant. And this is by Hufflepug on the main site and it says,

“I know that songs and chants are common at sporting events, especially English football, but the difference between that and ‘Weasley is our king’ is that Malfoy wrote this song specifically to play on Ron’s insecurities so he would choke. We know this because Malfoy and his gang watched the Gryffindors practice and could pick up on how easily Ron gets flustered because of his insecurities. Plus they take it to the hallways and the classrooms etc, which has nothing to do with Quidditch. That is definitely bullying.”

And just a follow-up comment from RoseLumos, who had a really great personal story that parallels it; I won’t go into all of that. You should definitely take a look on the main site, but she also said,

“I feel that so many things about the ‘Weasley is Our King’ situation were handled wrong. First, Draco should have been punished for actively bullying Ron, especially in such a public way. Second, Harry and George should have received a just punishment for their actions. Yes, they were in a fight, but it was their first serious violent offensive. I believe McGonagall was about to give out a reasonable punishment before Umbridge stormed in.”

And so last week basicially since none of us were on, the discussion was that this was just a typical chant, not unlike those used in sports now in the Muggle world. But obviously Hufflepug, RoseLumos, and quite a lot of other people on the main site saw it a very different way.

Kat: Yeah. If this happened in a Muggle school today, there would be serious allegations taken against Malfoy.

Noah: But I thought… sports songs can get pretty mean sometimes though against individual players.

Kat: Really?

Noah: Sure! American sports are pretty competitive.

Harrison: Oh, yeah!

Caleb: They can be, but also they… if they’re going after professional athletes, it’s a little bit different than your… what is Ron at this point? He’s like fifteen, right?

Kat: Yeah.

Noah: Yeah.

Caleb: Somewhere around there. And also, the person points out this is going on not just on the Quidditch pitch, but this is going on in the hallways and that’s bullying.

Kat: Right.

Noah: Oh, for sure. Where are the teachers?

Caleb: Right.

Harrison: Coming from someone fresh out of high school, it’s almost like… well, a year out but still… having gone to those sports games, it does sort of feel like it. But I feel the security or Madam Hooch or whoever should have really done something about it because it is – now with the political correctness of self-esteem – but it’s still sort of breaking with the tradition at Hogwarts of Quidditch being an inter-House kind of thing. So I’d even say, yeah, this has gone way too far.

Kat: I am surprised that McGonagall didn’t speak up or something during the match. I know Lee was talking very loudly to try and cover it, but… who knows?

Noah: No, but if McGonagall had said anything, maybe Ron would have been humiliated. Draco could have screamed from the audience, “There’s your mother, McGonagall!”

[Harrison laughs]

Noah: “She needs you to… you need her to back you up, huh?” or something like that. Then he would have been…

Kat: That’s entirely possible, I suppose. That’s true.

Caleb: And the previous comment is a good segue into the next response we got from one of our listeners, and it’s on the topic of this really intense and drastic lifelong Quidditch ban that Umbridge gives to Harry, George and Fred. And this comes from dustcharm on the forums:

“[Umbridge] is actively looking for any opportunity to deplete Harry’s morale. A fist fight is a great opportunity. And while she’s at it, better make sure that Gryffindor can’t play, really, at all – because if they still have a chance at winning, that might make Harry happy. But going further, I wonder if it’s also something against Gryffindor House in general. I mean, she clearly favors Slytherin, and the Inquisitorial Squad is pretty much all Slytherins, and with the Gryffindor/Slytherin rivalry… Granted, Slytherin tends to have a rivalry with all the Houses, and the other Houses tend to unite against Slytherin, but still. It’s particularly noticeable between those two. And while I don’t really know one way or the other about if she set this, in particular, up, I think she probably was trying to set something up. She never intervened with the Slytherins egging the Gryffindors on, perhaps hoping Gryffindor would respond, and then she could punish them. I think it’s maybe also a show of power against McGonagall – first off, she’s Gryffindor, which makes this all the better for Umbridge, perhaps… But McGonagall is the one who openly goes against Umbridge, and this was the opportunity to publicly overpower her ‘authority’-wise.”

Kat: I agree, I think it’s all those things. And didn’t we learn that Umbridge was a Slytherin in school? So I think that kind of sets up her bias immediately.

Noah: For sure. I wasn’t sure that she was a Slytherin but I assumed because of this.

Kat: Yeah, I think it came out a few months ago or at some point that she is indeed.

Caleb: Yeah. Mhm.

Kat: Yeah.

Noah: But does cutting out Quidditch altogether undermine McGonagall? I don’t know if I completely see the connection there, even though she loves it, for sure. I think this was more… to take away the fun.

Kat: No, I don’t think so. I think part of it is definitely against McGonagall.

Harrison: I see the connection with McGonagall, definitely.

Kat: Yeah. Mhm. Me too.

Caleb: Yeah, because… well, I guess it’s in… at the end of the chapter, just the back and forth how McGonagall tries to say that she doesn’t need Umbridge’s help, but then she tells her about the new educational decree. She clearly uses that as an opportunity.

Kat: Right.

Caleb: And Umbridge is mad at McGonagall for going to Dumbledore to get Gryffindor re-enstated.

Kat: Right. Uggh, nasty.

Caleb: Yeah, this comment is definitely right. She’s always had something against Gryffindor and now what the main motivator of that is up to debate. Whether it’s because of her inherent Slytherin bias or because Gryffindor is Harry’s house, I think there’s room for debate there.

Kat: Yeah. And then add McGonagall to that and it’s trifecta almost for Umbridge.

Harrison: Yeah. I see that.

Caleb: Noah, are you still not convinced?

Noah: No, no, I’m convinced. I think I misunderstood the comment. I think you guys are right.

Kat: Oh.

Caleb: I like that.

Kat: All right.

Harrison: Yiminimy!

Kat: Yeah… good with that.

[Harrison laughs]

Caleb: And the last comment comes on the Protean Charm and Hermione’s inspiration for it. She talks about how she basically got the idea from the Dark Mark that the Death Eaters use, and this comes from She Floo Like a Madman and it says,

“O.G.M., guys!”

In other words…

Noah: There you go, Kat.

[Kat laughs]

Caleb: “Obligatory Genius Moment.” I cannot talk today.

[Kat laughs]

Caleb: [continues]

“Hermione getting her cunning idea for the D.A. galleons from the Dark Arts/Mark is perfect reverse-foreshadowing of Malfoy’s plots, the next year, when he gets ideas from her – firstly about the Room of Requirement, secondly when he overhears her talking about how to smuggle potions (in his case poisons) into the school. There’s that cyclical plotting Jo is so brilliant at!”

Kat: Ah, that’s true. That’s a good OGM. That’s a good one.

Harrison: Indeed.

Caleb: It’s something so simple that you don’t really make the connection, at least not consciously most of the time. But I think it is interesting just how much… how many things feed into one another.

Kat: Yeah, and it’s especially difficult when you’re reading only one chapter a week and you’re not on the show every week. I know we get a lot of slack for missing things sometimes, but… it’s not as easy as sitting down and reading the book.

Caleb: Yeah, totally.

Noah: Foreshadowing is tricky though because I feel like that’s always tricky territory. You’re never quite completely sure that it’s something.

Kat: Well, what do you think here?

Noah: In this particular instance?

Kat: Yeah.

Noah: That’s the thing, this one seems kind of… I’m sort of in the middle. I can’t quite figure it out. If you’re both on board… what do you think, Harrison?

Harrison: As far as the foreshadowing thing… because I have read the series sort of in pieces, foreshadowing is always a little hard for me, but in this case I would sort of say that I think because, granted the wizarding world is sort of small compared to the Muggle world. I mean, no offense to all [of] the Potter people. The Potter is awesome, but the wizarding world is a bit small compared to other things. So I think it’s just literally a… I want to say [that] it’s coincidental. I know Jo doesn’t do that much that’s actually coincidental, but to be honest, I want to say that this one’s coincidental.

Noah: And that she didn’t plan it?

Harrison: No. I don’t think she planned this because would she really make…? Oh, well, this is Jo we’re talking about but still! Would even Jo make it like this? I don’t think so. And the Protean Charm is just something… it’s literally out of convenience, I think.

Kat: Really?

Harrison: That’s what I think of this situation. I think… I mean, there'[re] a lot of situations that are definitely foreshadowing, but I think this one is seriously just out of convenience.

Kat: Hmm, okay.

Harrison: Sometimes I think that a lot of this foreshadowing… this crazy… some of the stuff that’s just way out there is literally coincidence. Sometimes I start to wonder.

Noah: Yeah, yeah. In any book you can find a million things.

Harrison: Exactly.

Noah: Connections and stuff.

Harrison: In Harry Potter, there’s more than average because Jo does [a] great job in making them, but no, I think in any book you can find a lot of this.

Kat: Hmm.

Noah: She’s still very smart and a very, very talented writer.

Harrison: Oh, she’s a very talented writer.

Noah: We’re not saying that… [laughs]

Harrison: Oh, no! She’s a very talented writer! Don’t, don’t, don’t…

Noah: Let the record show. [laughs]

Harrison: Yes! Let the record show that she’s a very talented writer.

Kat: Well, speaking of talented writers, I guess we’ll move on to our Podcast Question of the Week responses from last week. Just to refresh everybody’s memory, the question was, “Fred and George have been trying to deny Ron was their brother for four years. This is a joke, obviously, but what does Ron have to do to gain their favor? Saving the Stone, entering the Chamber, and encounter with Sirius weren’t enough?”

Kat: And we got a lot of responses on this. A lot of them were along the same tone, but there were a few standouts that I’m going to read here. The first one is from Socks & Slugs. It says,

“Fred and George tease everyone. It is just what they do, their nature. We all know they have [a] great love and respect for Harry, yet also tease him all [of] the time. In OotP Chapter 26, page 576 (US ed), Gryffindor has lost at [Q]uidditch, and Ron is blaming himself; Fred and George tell Harry that they refuse to tease Ron and will hold onto the jokes about his playing for a party’. This shows that they really care and do not want to tease when Ron is feeling so horrible. Unfortunately, we never hear them tell Ron [that] they have respect for him while they [are] both [a]live.”


Caleb: Yeah, I think, having grown up with a brother, I definitely can relate to this. You tease one another and all that, but whenever it comes to other people… I mean, I think this is true not just for brothers but [also] for family in general. It’s okay for you to stay stuff – like teasing – but then when someone on the outside says something, you’re the first to jump to their defense, no matter what.

Kat: Yeah, my older brother is eight years older than me, so we were never in any situation together where this would take place, so I have no personal frame of reference for this at all so… Noah, you have a brother.

Noah: I do have a brother. We’re kind of competitive, and we tease each other constantly. But with Fred and George and Ron, I think the issue is much deeper. Yeah, I think they’ve been teasing him for many, many years just because he’s this kind of youngest son and maybe… and also, because I think Molly favors Ron a little bit more than Fred and George, too, so maybe they’re a bit jealous.

Kat: Harrison, were you going to say something?

Harrison: Yes, yes, I am. So I totally neglected to say all [of] this at the beginning, but for you listeners to know, I am totally blind, recording this, and this is important because I have a younger brother. He is four years younger than I am, and we tease each other constantly. At home, it’s always something. We tease each other; we play fight, even to this day. I’m 19, he’s 15, and we still do it, but on the outside, if someone will make fun of me because I’m blind or say I can’t do something or do something, especially with my disability, my brother will be the first one… and I know that he respects me, and I know that I respect him. But at home, within the family, it’s… all’s fair. So honestly, I definitely know at least where Fred and George are coming from and to a point, where Ron is coming from. I’ve, in a way, seen both sides. So sibling rivalry is one of those things where… the rock solid foundation of being siblings, if you’ve grown up in a good family, can really take precedent over little quarrels.

Kat: It’s funny that you mention respect and all of that because DisKid had a comment pretty much about that. It says,

“I think the twins do have respect for Ron in a sense. They don’t dislike him, are grateful [for] some things he has done, would help him if [need be], and I think they’re probably even a bit impressed with what he’s done even though they’re never going to admit that. I think the only one [who] doesn’t have their respect is Percy. I think they’re giving the most respect to Ron that they’re ever going to. Ron is their only little brother. He’s their only shot at having a little brother to pick on; with their personalities, they’re surely not going to pass that up! It’s the easiest way for them to show that they like him. Also, since he’s the closest thing to them personality-wise they may even be picking on him not only because he’s younger but also because he may fight back with them in a way closer to how they want as opposed to the bigger brothers. It’s fun to have one who retaliates!”

So that feeds right into what you were saying about you and your brother.

Harrison: Oh, yeah. Definitely. “It’s fun to have one [who] retaliates.” I like that comment. It definitely applies.

Kat: Do you two find that true, Caleb, Noah? Find that true?

Noah: I don’t like fighting.

Kat: Right. Everyone… yeah, right, you want everybody to get along, right?

Caleb: Yeah, […] my brother [and I] see each other to the emergency room each, while we were growing up, so it definitely happened.

Kat: Wait, what? Really?

Caleb: Yeah, my brother dislocated my finger.

Kat: Oh my God. [laughs]

Caleb: And I made him to have to get stitches in the forehead.

Harrison: Oh. Oh my gosh.

Caleb: I mean, it just happens. I was growing up.

Noah: I did that to my brother once, too. I hit him with a pillow. He went to the hospital.

Kat: Wow.

Harrison: I banged my brother into the entertainment center. Five stitches in the nose. I still remember. But I feel really bad about that one.

Kat: Wow. I feel like I’m missing out on a key part of childhood here.

Harrison: You are. You are.

Kat: Wow, well, I guess my fictional brother or sister is not missing out, so it’s probably okay. Our last comment here flips the question around a little bit. It comes from ChocolateFrogRavenclaw. Hmm, I want a Chocolate Frog.

Noah: Yum.

Kat: Yeah, I know, sounds good. Anyway, the response says,

“What if this question [were] turned around[?] The twins seem to not have respect for Ron – but does Ron show his respect for them? He is much more obviously jealous of their popularity, but despite that, he rarely [shows] that he has respect for them or that he is fond of having them around. This is not just a one-sided attempt to be noticed and appreciated; Ron does not publicly recognize the twins the same way he wants to be publicly recognized by them. I think this is nothing more than a brotherly relationship. Both the twins and Ron rely heavily on support from one another, but neither one publicly displays this. The twins put Ron down in a way that many older brothers do, and Ron pretends like he doesn’t care or need them [in a] way [that] many younger brothers do. As they all mature, we see them grow[…] closer (Ron staying with them in Deathly Hallows), but at this point, they are still teenagers trying to figure out who they are.”

Caleb: Yeah, I mean, that’s totally legit.

Kat: So there it is. I mean, like I said, most of the comments were along that vein that it’s just brotherly love.

Caleb: Yeah, that’s just growing up.

Kat: Yeah, so there you have it. [Those’re] the responses to the Podcast Question of the Week.

[Order of the Phoenix Chapter 20 intro begins]


[knocks] Chapter 20.

Ron: It’s her!

Umbridge: “Hagrid’s Tale.”

[Hermione gasps and drops teacup]

Umbridge: Hmm…

[Order of the Phoenix Chapter 20 intro ends]

Noah: So here we are in Chapter 20 of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and Hagrid is back. Hagrid is back, and that’s the big deal. So the trio come[s] down to Hagrid’s hut. They knock on his door, and they open it, and they find Hagrid with a steak on his face, and actually, he’s applying a dragon steak to his face that is green because his face is very bloody because he has been through an ordeal, and this chapter is about the ordeal that he’s been through, which is, of course, going to see the giants with Madam Maxime, which was a very, very interesting adventure that he talks about in this chapter. Throughout the chapter, really, it’s story time, and Hagrid is leading it, and then eventually Umbridge comes in and spoils all [of] the fun. Then Umbridge accosts Hagrid, asking him where he’s been. Hagrid has already told us where he’s been, but obviously, Umbridge doesn’t know. And then she leaves. But this story is just great. It was really fun. What did you all think of the story?

Kat: Well, that’s what I was going to say, actually. This starts the second half of the book. Because there [are] 38 chapters in this book. So this Chapter 20 is the official first chapter of the second half, which it’s nice to start out with this story. It’s a nice story.

Caleb: Yeah, and what’s really interesting… and I’ll bring it up now because I’m sure it’s not really going to come up later, but I really enjoy how Hagrid responds to Umbridge when he opens the door. He says something like, “I beg your pardon, but who the ruddy hell are you?”

[Kat and Noah laugh]

Caleb: Because that… it’s so… we get to see how Hagrid reacts to people just in general when he doesn’t know someone. That’s probably how he interacts with people who he feels are infringing upon his space in daily life, which is really funny.

Kat: Super Gryffindor.

Caleb: Absolutely

Noah: So my first main thought on this chapter was the fact that when Hagrid gets back, the trio jump[s] in on him, just talking, because they know that something is up, and they know that he’s been with giants. Because Hermione actually says that to Hagrid, and then Hagrid says, “What, you know that? How could you?” And then Hermione says, “Oh, we just guessed.” But I just thought, in this scene specifically, that even though Hagrid says, “Oh, it’s my… I lose my job if I tell you this information,” they kept at him. And I realized that this happenes over and over in the book series. At this point it’s kind of wild that Hagrid even tries to hold anything back anyway, but it just made me wonder. Has Hagrid not learned by this point that the trio is in on information, that he can almost trust them as he would adults? Or if he’s not going to trust them, why can’t he hold back more information and figure out when they’re trying to get more information from him? It seems like he really can’t hold back anything, and they just know how to work him. So I want to revisit an old question when we talked about Hagrid before: Is he…? I don’t want to say “stupid,” but is he… is the trio smarter than he is, just thoroughly, such that they can always get this information from him?

Kat: Well, at least he’s not drunk this time, so that can’t be used as an excuse.

Noah: Mhm.

Caleb: But I definitely think the transition that you’re speaking to is actually happening right here. That, yeah, finally he’s just giving up. And to answer the first question, in some ways, yeah, I think that they are, especially definitely Hermione is, smarter than Hagrid in a lot of ways, but obviously not in all ways, as far as experience and things like that go, but Hermione is very… I don’t even… she’s very intelligent when it comes to knocking out details and prying in the right way and things like that. But this is where I think Hagrid does start to have that transition of just giving up, where… let’s see… they kept… like you said, they kept going at him, and then he says, “Never known kids like you three fer knowin’ more’n yeh oughta, an’ I’m not complimentin’ yeh, neither. Nosy, some’d call it. Interferin’.” But then he just spills the story. So I think this is definitely a big point where he just sort of gives up.

Kat: He knows he can trust them at the very least, so I mean… or not even that. That they aren’t causing trouble, I suppose.

[Caleb laughs]

Kat: Most of the time.

Caleb: That’s debatable.

Kat: Most of the time! Most of the time, yeah.

Noah: Oh, well, they’re definitely casing trouble this year.

Caleb: They’re not causing trouble.

Kat: Well, he doesn’t know about that yet.

Caleb: Yeah, he doesn’t know about that. They’re not the ones causing trouble, but anyway…

Noah: Not any serious trouble, given the trouble at Hogwarts because of Umbridge and stuff, and maybe Hagrid also knows that Dumbledore trusts them as well to a degree, or…

Caleb: Ah, I get it, you said “serious trouble” because it involves Sirius.

Harrison: [laughs] Oh, that is so…

Noah: Oh, that was…

Harrison and Noah: Unintentional.

Caleb: Yeah, that was good.

Noah: But there was also.. just on the same point, there’s a scene… a spot where Harry is actually talking about the Dementors, and Hagrid is like, “What? The Dementors? What happened, Harry?” And then Harry says, “No, no, no, wait, I’ll tell you later. Why don’t you tell me this story first?”

[Caleb and Harrison laugh]

Noah: So he uses that as a tactic.

Caleb: Yeah, that’s a good point. Harry definitely controls that moment.

Noah: He takes it over. It’s on his… there’s a line where Harry’s face just has a sense of…

Caleb: Yeah.

Noah: I don’t have the exact line in front of me, but they’re manipulating him.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: It says “innocent determination.”

Noah: Yeah. [laughs]

Caleb: Because in years past, Hagrid would have flipped the table had he heard that Dementors were attacking Harry. But it’s obviously a very different reaction here. Things are all very different. But yeah, I totally buy your point there. He totally is owning. I don’t know if manipulating, but he’s definitely the agressor in the conversation.

Noah: He is. He is, and Hagrid is just sort of willing, but at the same time it spills over because he just wants to tell the story, too, and they know that.

Kat: Yeah, Harry would be, despite his size, the big spoon in this situation.

Caleb: [laughs] Yeah, the big spoon!

Harrison: Yeah.

Noah: That’s interesting

Kat: [laughs] Well, I’m just reading some of your notes further down the doc, and I have a feeling that’s going to fit into the…

Noah: That’s where we’re going to go.

Kat: Going to fit into the conversation at some point, so I figured I’d just pull it out now. Yeah. Well.

Noah: All right. Pull out your spoons now.

[Kat laughs]

Noah: So I just thought a really interesting story of Hagrid’s, and while I’m reading this story, the plot… I’ve read the books a bunch of times, but reading it this time I was thinking about… I thought it was really interesting how the giants originally were many tribes, but in the story they’re all just one conglomerated tribe, and that’s what Hagrid and Madam Maxime find. And you learn about giant society in this chapter. I don’t believe it’s anywhere else in the books that you actually go into a little bit of detail, and we learn that there is a Gurg, which is the head giant of each giant tribe, and as you might imagine, it’s sort of the biggest, toughest [giant]. And what Hagrid and Madam Maxime had to do is go give presents to this Gurg. And I had this thought later in the doc, but I want to bring it up now: The present that Albus Dumbledore tells Hagrid to give to the head Gurg there, whose name is Karkus, which is an interesting name as well, is everlasting fire. It’s actually called… what is it called? I lost it.

Kat: The Gubraithian…

Noah: Gubraithian fire?

Kat: Hold on. Branch-O-Gubraithian fire. That’s in Hagrid’s tongue, so…

Noah: Yeah, so it’s this complicated spell, Gobraithian fire that apparently Professor Flitwick…

Caleb: Gubraithian fire. It’s with a U. G-U.

Kat: Yeah, Gubraithian.

Noah: Gubraithian?

Kat: Mhm.

Caleb: Gubraithian, yeah. I guess it could be Gobraithian. Never mind. I’ll shut up.

Harrison: A branch of Gubraithian fire. That’s how I always imagined Hagrid.

Caleb: There you go.

Kat: Yeah, and can I just say really quickly…

Noah: Yeah.

Kat: … that I looked up… Because I think “gurg” is a hilarious word and I looked it up on Urban Dictionary…

Noah: Mhm.

Kat: … and the definition is, “A freakishly large deposit of fat located under the chin.”

Harrison: [laughs] Really?

Caleb: Eww.

Kat: So…

Caleb: Guys, that’s the worst nightmare, is waking up, having that.

Kat: Yeah, pretty much. Yeah, so there you go.

Harrison: Well, after reading this chapter six times, in six different languages, only two of them change the actual word “Gurg.” One used – I forget which one – used the word “head” and then – I forget which language – but I remember in Dutch they used the word “Opper,” which means the higher one, the upper, the boss figure.

Kat: Hmm.

Harrison: But I never would have imaged it would be – what? – fat under the skin. That’s a new one.

Kat: Yeah, there are some other much more disgusting, gruesome definitions that we won’t go into.

Caleb: [unintelligible]

Harrison: Let’s not talk about that.

Noah: But, I guess that makes sense because the Gurg is apparently supposed to be the biggest and the most disgusting.

Kat: Right. Exactly.

Noah: But on the fire, why did Albus Dumbledore have Hagrid gave them some everlasting fire? What is the possible significance of that?

Caleb: Ooh, shiny.

[Harrison laughs]

Kat: I mean, yeah, it’s something…

Noah: Is that it?

Harrison and Kat: Yeah.

Caleb: Yeah, totally.

Noah: It kind of is. Bring it to the tribal people. Here’s the fire. It’s really… Also I think fire’s a mark of technology and higher thought, maybe…

Kat: Mhm.

Noah: One of the first tools of humanity, things like that. But the giants are supposed to be much smarter than even trolls, so…

Kat: I wouldn’t go so far as to say much smarter. I would say that there’s a small leap between a troll and a giant.

Noah: Hey, Hagrid’s dad was a wizard and he got down with that, so they’re not…

Kat: Let’s not go back there but I know what you’re taking about. [laughs]

Noah: Yeah. [laughs] So I thought that it was interesting that Dumbledore chose fire, but I think, at the end of the day, maybe it wasn’t. As smart as Dumbledore is, he was really going for the, “Ooh, shiny” factor, potentially.

Kat: Yeah, go big or go home. If you want to make an impression, you’ve got to start out with the biggest, coolest gift you can think of, basically, you know?

Noah: Now, what happened to that fire? We hear nothing of that fire in the chapter after it’s used. Why didn’t he use it later when he got in trouble? I’m talking about the Gurg with the fire.

Kat: Umm.

Noah: Karkus.

Kat: I don’t know, maybe one of them sat on it and broke the stick and thus it died.

Harrison: But it’s everlasting.

Noah: It’s everlasting. So would the fire continue to burn? [laughs]

Kat: Yeah, but every spell has a loophole so there must be something that can stop it.

Noah: Everlasting water.

Kat: Maybe.

Harrison: Aguamenti, that’s everlasting water.

Kat: Mhm, so who knows?

Noah: So the Gurg gets the everlasting fire, and I thought that was interesting. This Gurg, Karkus, of course, is going to be killed in this chapter later, presumably by the next Gurg, Golgomath. And I just thought – just to get a little bit into the etymology – I thought it was really interesting. Karkus, his name, all I could really find on it was that the name kind of sounds like “carcass.”

Harrison: Mhm, yeah.

Noah: C-A-R-C-A-S-S, which is interesting because he becomes a carcass…

[Caleb and Kat laugh]

Noah: … when he dies.

Kat: That’s true. Foreshadowing. Foreshadowing. [laughs]

Harrison: That’s foreshadowing.

Noah: So that’s foreshadowing but that’s unfortunate that this giant’s entire life is just built up in J.K. Rowling’s consciousness to be killed later.

Kat: Maybe he has a whole back-story that we don’t know about.

Harrison: Pottermore, please.

Kat: [laughs] What could that be?

Noah: Of Karkus.

Kat: Hmm.

Noah: And Golgomath’s name – this is from the Wiki – is derived from the number googol. It’s numerical value is a single digit 1 with 100 zeros afterwards or 10 to the hundredth power. So that’s… He’s just this big guy, big number. So I don’t think… Maybe Jo didn’t spend a lot of time on these names.

Caleb: Wait, is that why Google’s… sorry, is that why the search engine is called that because it’s so big that it holds everything?

Harrison: Yes. Yes.

Noah: Yeah, yeah.

Caleb: Wow.

Kat: Wait, for real?

Harrison: Yeah, no, that’s true. It actually is true.


I think so. Actually I have heard that it’s true.

Harrison: I want to ask you guys, do you think it’s that Jo did not spend time on these names? Or do you think – or maybe I’m reading too much into this – do you think it’s that she wanted to make them intentionally simple so like, “Oh yeah, Google?”

Noah: Because they’re simple.

Harrison: Yeah, but did she mean for that?

Caleb: Yeah, Jo certainly pays a lot of attention to her names. More than a lot of… more than any author I’ve ever read, so…

Kat: Mhm.

Noah: I like what you’re saying, Harrison.

Kat: Yeah, I think they’re intentional.

Noah: Intentionally simple.

Kat: Yeah.

Harrison: I think they’re intentionally simple because they’re giants. It’s meant to show their… what? Disintellegence?

Noah: Simplicity, perhaps.

Harrison and Kat: Simplicity, yeah.

Noah: Disintelligence is good, though, too. [laughs]

Caleb: I read them more not simplistic. I just read the names as sounding very barbaric, which is the way a lot of the giants are, especially in this chapter.

Kat: Barbaric. That’s a better word.

Harrison: Okay, barbaric. Yeah.

Kat: That’s true. I concur.

Caleb: Just like you see those names and it’s just like, “Rawr!”

Noah: [in a deep voice] Golgomath!

[Kat laughs]

Caleb: Golgomath!

Kat: I don’t know. I think Karkas is super cheeky and…

Noah: It’s kind of like Snuffles.

Kat: … I love it. I don’t know.

Caleb: But the K’s make it a little more fierce than if it was just like…

Kat: Like carcass, right.

Caleb: …the normal carcass.

Noah: He’d be afraid of a carcass.

Kat: Right. I agree. K’s make everything better.

Noah: That’s funny.

Kat: Just saying.

Caleb: Though I hate it when people spell my name with a K.

Kat: I hate it when people spell my name with a C, so I get you.

Harrison: Oops, I almost did that.

Kat: I was giving you knucks through the mic, you couldn’t see that.

Harrison: I almost did that. I hate to say it, but I still – for you listeners out there – I still can’t get over the way the Dutch people pronounce it, and that’s “Hukumat,” and it sounds so…

Kat: Whoa.

Harrison: … it sounds so… Like “Hukumat.”

Caleb: That just sounds like it’s a lot of effort.

Harrison: That’s literally how the Dutch audiobook narrator pronounced it, and I’m sorry, I still can’t get over that.

Kat: It sounds phlegmy.

Harrison: It’s, well, Dutch itself…

Caleb: And exhausting.

Harrison: Not really.

Kat: Is Dutch a phlegmy language? Is that what you’re saying?

Harrison: [speaks in Dutch] Please excuse me, all you Dutch people, but a bit.

Kat: [laughs] Okay.

Harrison: Yes, it’s a bit of a phlegmy language, but just that name, just the way it was written – and it was written the same way as in English – but just the way it was pronounced just heightens a lot of that sense.

Kat: What about Karkas?

Harrison: That one was still Karkas.

Noah: What about Gurg?

Harrison: That one was still Karkas.

Kat: Just with an accent.

Noah: Gurg?

Harrison: That was “Opper.” That’s where I… They changed it to “Opper.”

Kat: They changed it. Yeah.

Noah: That’s not the same at all.

Harrison: “Opper.”

Kat: How many languages do you know?

Harrison: Let’s see… I know ten.

Kat: Holy crap.

Harrison: I have not read Harry Potter in all ten, because I still can’t get ahold of the Japanese edition.

Kat: Maybe someone out there in Listening Land can hook you up.

Harrison: Yes. The Japanese edition of Harry Potter, all seven books. Audio, please.

Noah: So…

Kat: Wait, don’t they have the Japanese ones on Pottermore?

Harrison: Yeah, but I don’t want to be reading through tons of… because Japanese isn’t written like English, I don’t want to be reading through tons of characters I don’t know. It’s the way Japanese is set up. They don’t use an alphabet… Well, they have an alphabet, but they also have 5,000 Chinese characters, so…

Kat: Huh.

Harrison: … I don’t want to be trying to figure out a bunch of things that I don’t know. I’d rather just listen to it.

Kat: Got you. Got it. Okay. Sorry.

Noah: Yes, yes.

Kat: Sorry, Noah. Continue.

Noah: Thank you. So back to the chapter discussion. I was really fascinated the entire time by the fact that some of the giants knew English, and some of the ones didn’t. The ones that did know English were the giants that the different Gurgs used to translate when they needed to hear what Hagrid or Madam Maxime was saying. So I just thought, because I was just thinking in my head, “When did the giants learn English? Was it during a time… was it during the last war when the giants were aligned with the Death Eaters? Was there an English training thing going on mid-war? Or was there a time, perhaps, where giants and humans were interacting more?” Which I kind of doubt because it seems like there’s always been this animosity. What do you guys think?

Kat: Well, there must have been a time, right? Because otherwise, we wouldn’t have Hagrid.

Noah: But I thought that was a rare case.

Harrison: I think Hagrid was a… yeah, I think that was a fluke.

Kat: I think the copulation is a rare case, but I think the fact that they were living near each other might not be.

Noah: Because I know that the tribes used to be spread out more across the world, and now they were pushed out to the mountains. Now it seems that the Russian mountains, actually. But we don’t have too much about their old society.

Kat: Wait, Russian mountains?

Noah: Yeah, I read that on the Wiki. That’s apparently where they are, they’re in Russia.

Harrison: Really?

Harrison and Kat: Where did that information come from?

Noah: That was on the Harry [Potter] Wiki, which I trust somewhat. It could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure…

Harrison: No. They went into France, and I think they say they cross the border back. Oh, but did they say what border it was?

Kat: No, they went through Minsk, so…

Caleb: Yeah, something about the Polish border. Yeah, like a run-in with someone.

Noah: Right.

Kat: That’s right.

Harrison: Hmm. Right.

Kat: A vampire, right? In a pub.

Caleb: Yeah. Well, that was in Minsk, wasn’t it?

Kat: Yes. That was in Minsk. Right.

Noah: I think they’re in Russia.

Kat: Okay. It just surprised me.

Caleb: Oh, he ran into trolls on the Polish border.

Kat: Right.

Caleb: That’s what it was.

Kat: Anyway, I do think there was a time that they… not more peacefully, but maybe closer together, when they were not as exiled to one place.

Noah: Because my other point is that if they have the capacity to learn English, there’s probably capacity for more peaceful negotiations, working together, and maybe if someone had bothered to teach them, they could have integrated into society to some degree.

Kat: I’m not sure about that. I can’t imagine a giant…

Noah: Well, yeah, their culture is so different…

Kat: … walking down Diagon Alley. [laughs]

Noah: Yeah.

Caleb: Plus, they couldn’t have been too close to the wizarding kind without Muggles noticing.

Kat: Right.

Caleb: And while the International Statute of Secrecy hasn’t been around forever, there still would have been probably been a general “not wanting to let the Muggles see the giants” thing going.

Noah: Right, that would blow everything over. The entire magical community. All would be lost.

Caleb: But the farther back you go, it’s probably more and more likely.

Kat: I mean, the giants and the orcs lived happily together in Lord of the Rings, so there you go.

Noah: Different worlds…

Harrison: Yeah but that’s the inferior series.

Caleb: Oh. Whoa.

Kat: Whoa.

Caleb: We’re not going to play which one’s better, but we aren’t going to put down Lord of the Rings.

Harrison: I’m sorry.

Kat: Right. [laughs]

Harrison: Oh I’m sorry, I am a huge Harry Potter fanatic. I refuse to read past The Hobbit

Kat: I had a hard time getting past the middle of the second book, so I get you.

Noah: They’re hefty.

Kat: I understand. Yeah.

Noah: But on a different point entirely, Hagrid has a damsel in distress moment at the end of the story because when the other Gurg, Golgomath, takes over and starts eating some of the other giants who disagree, and Hagrid actually goes to bring a present to the next Gurg. Which, one of the trio, I think it might’ve been… I forget who it was, says, “Why would you go to that next Gurg? You know that you’re probably going to be in trouble.” But Hagrid went and he tried to give a peace offering to this Gurg, just in case. And then the Gurg’s buddies, Golgomath’s buddies, grabbed him and Madame Maxime actually has to do some crazy wand work, which was cool because Hagrid… presumably she saved his life. Then after that occurs, Hagrid says this to the trio, which made me think that maybe there was more to the story that Hagrid is not telling them. Obviously there is another element, a big one the starts with a G, by the name of Grawp, but that makes me think there must be something else and here’s why. I’m just going to say this quote in approximation of Hagrid’s voice. He’s talking about Madame Maxime. “She’s something when she’s roused, Olympe…”

[Caleb, Harrison, and Kat laugh]

Noah: “Fiery, you know. I expect it’s the French in her.”

Caleb: You had to start with that one? In that voice?

[Kat and Noah laugh]

Caleb: Continue.

Noah: “Hagrid gazed misty eyed into the fire. Harry allowed him 30 seconds reminiscence before clearing his throat loudly.” Do you know how long 30 seconds is, guys?

Kat: Wait, do you want to go 30 seconds?

Noah: Yeah.

Kat: Ready, start.

Caleb: No, because I will get too uncomfortable.

Noah: This is 30 seconds and I want you to imagine just…

Kat: I’m timing it.

Noah: Before we do this pause, imagine in your head, Hagrid just looking into the fire, and everybody else silent.

Kat: Okay. It’s going to start now.

[30 seconds of unintelligible noises and counting]

Kat: That was 30 seconds.

Caleb: Ugh. God.

Harrison: Yep. That was 30 seconds.

Kat: That’s a lot.

Noah: So there’s that pause that’s in the chapter, that’s in the story. And we read over that, but that happened.

Kat: That is canon.

Noah: That 30 seconds is canon, and what the heck happened? [laughs] There’s more to the story.

Kat: Where was Hagrid’s mind, right?

Noah: Well, here’s what I’m thinking…

Harrison: In the mountains.

Kat: I don’t think we want to know.

Harrison: His mind was in the mountains.

Noah: Without going into too much detail, I’m pretty sure that you’ve got Olympe Maxime, you’ve got Rubeus Hagrid; both of them confronting a lot of danger; both of them the only half-giants that they’ve probably ever met in their life, going back to their ancestral roots where their parents used to be, the energies of the jungle around them, just hiding out there in the caves, like, Kat, the spoon thing. This is now the time…

Kat: The spoon thing… [laughs]

Noah: And I just think there is another something there, and I think it was sort of special. JK Rowling does not directly say anything, but this like… she has also addressed it with this 30 second silence.

Kat: Hagrid is also the small spoon in this situation. Just saying.

Caleb: Yeah, that’s true.

Noah: He would be.

Kat: He would be. He definitely would be.

Noah: Yeah. He’s a softie.

Kat: [laughs] That he is. I bet there [are] fan fictions that cover that 30 seconds.

Noah: I’m sure there are.

Caleb: I would not doubt that.

Noah: I am absolutely sure there are. We’re not going to read any on this show.

Caleb: We are not.

Noah: Not going to.

Kat: That’s what you should do as your special feature this week, Noah.

Noah: Wait, it’s… oh, it’s my special feature?

Kat: Yeah.

Noah: Okay.

Kat: You should read a Hagrid and Olympe fan fiction.

Noah: Can you…

Harrison: Noah, as a fan of the show, I dare you.

Kat: Oh!

Harrison: I dare you. Speaking for me and probably a lot of the other fans of the show, I dare you to.

Kat: There you go, buddy.

Noah: But I have to write it then.

Harrison: I’ll write it.

Noah: You’ll write it?

Harrison: I’ll write it. I’ve got tons of time in Taiwan. I’ll write it, and you read it.

Noah: All right. That sounds great. I’d be happy to.

Harrison: All right, Kat has my email.

Noah: And that goes for anyone listening to the show. If you want me to read a fan fiction that you write, I will read it, and I will post it on my… I’ll post it somewhere, or I’ll give it to you. That’d be fun.

Kat: There you go.

Caleb: So I think there are two really important things that we learn in this chapter. One is so when the… when Hagrid and Maxime are still trying to talk to the giants, they figure out that the Death Eaters are also there. Specifically, Hagrid mentions seeing Walden MacNair who also was the executioner who would have killed Buckbeak, and did in some other timeline. We’re not going there again.

[Kat laughs]

Caleb: But yeah, so I think it’s really important because this is a really important moment in the book. In the series, Order of the Phoenix is a shifting point, and like we mentioned earlier, this is the halfway point, and so this shows that they’re going for similar things and really drives that this conflict is really moving at a big pace, and the Death Eaters were more successful. I mean, Hagrid and Maxime got there first, but this new Gurg was more sympathetic to MacNair, which is a really big blow to Hagrid and Maxime and Dumbledore, obviously.

Noah: Why do you think that was? I mean, I almost put it in the doc, and I… maybe it’s because the giants are very anxious, and I guess the Death Eaters were able to play on their fear of humans and wizard kind a little bit, by that way maybe Lord Voldemort offers them a kind of protection.

Caleb: Yeah, well, Hagrid gives his own explanation because he mentions how MacNair is. He likes killing as much as Golgomath. No wonder they’re getting on so well. I mean, that’s definitely part of it. I don’t think that’s totally all of it. I think it’s, yeah, a lot of what you’re saying. Voldemort at face value is probably more boldly powerful, and MacNair and other Death Eaters can probably show that more clearly than Dumbledore can with Gubraithian fire, and a goblin helmet, and whatever the third gift is. I can’t remember now.

Noah: It’s almost like a political campaign, isn’t it? Either Dumbledore or Voldemort.

Caleb: Yeah, and Gologmath is a brute. More of a brute than Karkas was, so it makes sense that those are going to align a little bit more.

Kat: They probably had those “Republicans for Voldemort” stickers on their car.

Harrison: You mean on their broomstick.

[Kat and Noah laugh]

Kat: Although they don’t have cars, so on the side of the mountain or something.

Noah: They’d be huge cars.

[Kat laughs]

Noah: And they’d be made out of rocks.

Kat: With giant bumper stickers.

Noah: Also, there was the moment at the end of the chapter when Hermione calmly asks Hagrid, “What about your mother?” and that was one of the personal details that Hagrid probably wasn’t going to go into, just like with Grawp, which he does not tell the trio, and Hagrid lets them know that his mother is dead. A couple of years ago, and it’s sad.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: I think, too, it’s important to point out when Umbridge is in the cabin…

Noah: Mhm.

Kat: … and he’s like, “Oh, I was away for fresh air and change of scenery,” and she’s like, “Mountain scenery?” so obviously messages are getting back to them somehow, and this is…

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: … really… I mean, we know there are some shady stuff going on, but I think this is a pretty blatant clue that the Death Eaters or somebody was spying on them and reporting back.

Noah: Well, I thought the Ministry had their own tail, maybe in France.

Kat: Probably, but I think it could have been a Death Eater for all we know.

Noah: A Death Eater working for the Ministry?

Kat: No, no. I don’t know what I’m saying. I’m just saying there was a tail. Somebody reporting back.

Noah: Yeah.

Kat: But I mean, why didn’t this person see… I guess to mention the Death Eaters, if they saw Hagrid and Olympe, then why not the Death Eaters?

Harrison: Maybe the Death Eaters… maybe the tail said, “Oh, well, we found them,” so they left before the Death Eaters arrived.

Kat: Or maybe MacNair is the one they sent.

Noah: But the Death Eaters sent MacNair.

Kat: But MacNair works for the Ministry.

[Harrison gasps]

Noah: Maybe they both sent MacNair.

Harrison: Oh! Wow.

Kat: Exactly.

Noah: He works for both of them. MacNair, MacNair.

Harrison and Kat: Double agent.

Harrison: Wow.

Noah: For whatever reason, he seems like Ser Ilyn Payne if I was going to go Game of Thrones. I feel like they’re the same person. You know what I mean? The beheading?

Caleb: I don’t because… I don’t know. Ilyn Payne has… I mean, you’ve read all the books. Well, we shouldn’t… I’m not going to be spoiler-y but he has a really sadistic sense of humor and even though, given his limited nature, he still has more of a personality, where Macnair just seems like this cold, dark kill.

Noah: Right. I don’t know, I just… in my mind’s eye, they seem connected as the guys with the big swords that do the executions that are evil.

Caleb: Yeah, well, obviously. Yeah, they’re both executioners. But I actually like Ilyn Payne, so… I mean, he does horrible things but… God, now people are going to hate me. Shoot.

Kat: Whatever.

Caleb: Whatever. If you read the books, you’ll get it.

Kat: I also liked that Umbridge is like, “Really? You don’t have much of a tan.”

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: And then every time I read that, I picture Hagrid on a beach, beard flowing in the wind. I don’t know. It’s the same hilarious image I get when I picture Dumbledore on a beach.

Noah: Well, he and Madame Maxime had a good time in France, just running away from their tails, losing them, looking at the sights… I mean, there was a little… in that sub-story, before they actually meet the giants – I don’t know how long that little excursion was – but they were just touring art and museums and going into little coffee shops…

Caleb: I don’t think this took that much time.

Kat: [laughs] Yeah, I don’t think so either.

Caleb: It’s not a holiday, so… not a real holiday, anyway.

Kat: Right.

Noah: Well… oh, and there was one other thing, just at the end when Umbridge noted that there were steps going into the cabin but she just couldn’t figure it out. I thought that was hilarious because she kept trying to figure out, “How is this possible?” And then at the end of the day she does just give up; she knows something is happening but she just can’t figure it out.

Kat: And how Harry sucks in his gut when she walks by.

Caleb: Yeah, what? Does he have a beer gut going? What’s the deal?

Kat: Well, that’s the major inconsistency between the movie – I mean, not “the” but “one of” – is that Harry… it says, I think, at the beginning of this book that he’s wearing Dudley’s old clothes. Right? And that’s telling something.

Caleb: Mmm. Oh, I see.

Kat: I don’t know. He might not be the scrawny, skinny boy anymore. Who knows?

Noah: So that’s about all I have in this chapter, though it was very fun.

Caleb: But speaking of Umbridge, when she is in, what we learn that… well, the trio try to warn Hagrid to not go wild for his lessons now that he will… well, we assume he will go back to his teaching role, and to just play it safe with his lessons since Umbridge is certainly going to be observing him.

Kat: And we get yet another hint of the Thestrals, too.

Caleb: Yeah.

Harrison: Wait, what Thestral hint? I’m sorry, I didn’t see it.

Kat: Because he’s talking about how he saved a great creature…

Harrison: Oh, yes. Right.

Kat: … and he reckons he has the only domesticated herd in Britain. Yeah. Okay, so this week’s Podcast Question of the Week… we actually had such a great Audioboo from a listener that I’m just going to use that because that is along the lines of the question that I was going for anyway, and we like to include our listeners on this show, so here’s the Podcast Question of the Week from listener Socks & Slugs.

[Audio]: Hello, I am Socks & Slugs, a.k.a. Margie. In Chapter 27 of Order of the Phoenix, we get the hint that Fudge and Umbridge suspect Hagrid of going to the giants during his absence from Hogwarts. I am using the premise that Fudge does not believe in Voldemort’s return, but that Dumbledore is plotting against him and is gunning for the Minister of Magic position. So my question is this: Do you think that Fudge believes that Dumbledore had sent Hagrid to the giants in an effort of recruiting them to, say, attack him? Because if Voldemort is not back, what else would Dumbledore need the giants for?

Kat: So basically to sum this up, she wants you, the listeners… well, she wanted us, but we’re passing it on to you. What do you think? Put yourself in the mindset of Fudge. What is his motivation to have Hagrid and Maxime followed if he truly doesn’t believe Voldemort is back? There you go. Send in your responses – you know how to do that – at and we might just read it on next week’s show.

Caleb: I really like this question. I’ve never thought about this. It’s a very good thing to ask, though.

Kat: I agree completely. It’s a very good question. Thank you, Socks & Slugs, and welcome to the show. Thank you so much for listening.

Noah: And we’d now like to thank Harrison. Thank you for being on our show today.

Harrison: Well, it should be the other way around. Thank you for having me on because I really enjoyed this. I feel like I get a perspective of this chapter a lot better and usually I’m not one to discuss things with people as far as Harry Potter because everyone thinks I’m too crazy of a fan that they don’t want to discuss with me. So this is an awesome experience for me, so thank you guys for having me on.

Kat: Oh, it’s truly our pleasure. We love talking to the listeners out there and other impassioned Harry Potter fans.

Harrison: Absolutely.

Kat: There is no such thing as… well, that’s probably not true. There is almost no such thing as too crazy of a Harry Potter fan. Let’s be honest.

[Harrison and Kat laugh]

Caleb: So if you would also like to be a guest on our show, you can find out just how to do that by heading over to the “Be on the Show!” page, which you will find on If you have a set of the standard Apple headphones, you’re all set. Otherwise, no fancy equipment will be needed. Just something that will let you record and listen on headphones at the same time.

Kat: And in the meantime, if you want to keep in contact with us, you can find us on Twitter at @AlohomoraMN,, on Tumblr at mnalohomorapodcast, [and] of course, our phone number is 206-GO-ALBUS – that’s 206-462-5287. You can subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes. We love reading those. Don’t forget to follow us on Snapchat at mn_alohomora and of course, the Audioboo, much like you heard today in the Podcast Question of the Week. You can record those for free at All you need is an Internet connection and a microphone, and try to keep them under 60 seconds so that we can play them easily on the show.

Caleb: And also make sure to check out our store, which you can see from our main website. Thank you to everyone for your feedback on what you want to see in the store. There are quite a few new items in the store, especially if you’re looking for some new House-specific swag. They’re pretty awesome, so you should go check those out. And we also have free ringtones that you can also find on our website.

Kat: And don’t forget our smartphone app, which is available seemingly worldwide. I think there’s only one country that we’ve heard of it’s not available in, which surprisingly is Ireland, so…

Caleb: How… oh, I am upset now.

Harrison: Yeah, that’s sad.

Kat: It is. But perhaps that person just wasn’t looking in the right place? I don’t know, but for all of the information about our app, it’s at, and there’s a little link to the app right there. On the app, you can find transcripts, bloopers, alternate endings, host vlogs, and so much more, like Noah reading Harrison’s fan fiction. So download it. I think it’s only $1.99 in most places. There you go.

Harrison: It’s even in Taiwan. And if it’s in Taiwan, it’s everywhere. I looked.

Kat: It’s in Taiwan! Good to know, good to know. Good, good…

Noah: All right, guys. So I’m very… it’s an unfortunate statement to make, and there’s really no way to go about doing it. I’ve been with the show for a really long time, but now I’m finding that I’m about to start a company. It’s called Blue Steel Media, and it’s really based off of my love of Zoolander, my favorite movie, because Blue Steel is the look that Ben Stiller does in that movie. But the company itself requires a lot of attention, and it’s just getting to a certain stage where… make it or break it time, so because of that, I need to leave the show indefinitely so that I can work on this company, and I realize it’s going to bother a lot of people. It bothers me a ton. I’ve been here…

Harrison: [gasps] That’s sad.

Noah: I’m sorry, Harrison.

Harrison: It’s okay.

Noah: You’re the guest here to hear it. Obviously, everybody who is listening hears it. It’s just that I’ve got to do this business. The company is a creative writing and marketing service. Our first target is start-ups, but then I’d love it if we could start writing everything from Netflix shows to books because my theory is if you amass enough creative people together – enough creative writers – you can really create a whole lot of interesting content, so that’s kind of what I’m doing. But as for Alohomora!, I’ll still be on Twitter following along, if not maybe on the show itself, still very much engaged, so it’s just been a pleasure to be on the show with my fine hosts for the time that I’ve been around. It’s been a ride seeing people at conventions and everything, and I will miss it very much, so that is all I can say to that end, other than “Open the Dumbledore!” at the end of the episode, which I won’t say now. I just said it, but I will say it later, and that’ll be the final “Open the Dumbledore!”

Kat: Well, of course, we wish you all the luck, and you’re close enough that we’ll be seeing you, so… and as long as you don’t stop running the Desk!Pig Twitter, that’s fine.

Noah: I could probably do that a little bit, of course.

Kat: Right. Got it.

Caleb: Definitely sad. I know a lot of the listeners are going to miss your wacky ideas. We’ve kind of already had to go through this once, but it’s still definitely sad. For people who don’t know, Alohomora! was Noah’s brainchild, and so you definitely have him to thank for this at least igniting in the first place. So we’ll definitely miss you but know that you’re off to great things, and you’ll have to at least come back for guest hosting or something every now and then.

Kat: Yeah. And it’s fitting that it’s the three of us here since we were the original three, so it worked out.

Noah: Yeah, well, I appreciate it, guys.

Kat: Absolutely.

[Show music begins]

Noah: And on that note, I’m Noah Fried.

Caleb: I’m Caleb Graves.

Kat: And I’m Kat Miller. Thank you for listening to Episode 98 of Alohomora!

Noah: Open the Dumbledore!

[Show music continues]

Caleb: I was convinced someone was using Morse code.

[Kat laughs]

Harrison: Yeah, Morse code. That’s what it sounds like.

Kat: That’s legit. Interesting.

Noah: What does it sound like?

Caleb: It sounds like Morse code.

Kat: Yeah, like…

[Caleb and Kat imitate Morse code]

Noah: Oh, no, I’m not doing that.

Kat: No, I think it’s your track. Because you don’t hear it.

[Caleb imitates Morse code]

Kat: The weird noise that we’re hearing. So…

Caleb: Yeah. Ow, I just hit my teeth with the glass.

Kat: Ow. That sucks. That’s the worst. [laughs]

[Music tribute to Noah plays]