ep-227

Episode 227: GoF 23 Revisit – An Evening of Blunders and Broken Hearts

We’re doing our best to have a good time at this dance, but the drama at Hogwarts may just turn this evening on its head. You’ve got a date with Alison, Katy, Michael and guest host, Howl, for a night full of magic and intrigue at “The Yule Ball,” chapter 23 of Goblet of Fire.

On Episode 227 we discuss…

→ Hermione’s not gonna take it anymore
→ Ron can’t have nice things
→ Cinderella’s back
→ Beauxbatons and Durmstrang
→ The sock chapter
→ Hermione got her groove… for the first time
→ Does the Seeker have a full bladder?
→ Meet the Weird Sisters
→ Is Ron and Hermione’s relationship healthy?
→ A giant secret
→ The Goblet of Spectacle
→ “Make it pink!” “Make it blue!”
Join us in Diagon Alley on September 1st!

To listen to the show, simply click the player below or direct download the episode. You can also subscribe to us on iTunes. For more information about the podcast and to find out how to be on the show, check out our Be On The Show! page.

Skype users can send us a message to username AlohomoraMN. And as always, be sure to continue the discussion below!

Listen Now: | Download


RECAP: EPISODE 226

On this recap we discuss…

→ How Queer should Potter be?
→ The Werewolf parallel
→ Queer stereotypes vs. queer themes
→ Asking more from Rowling

Listen Now: | Download

  • BloodCharm

    Just started listening to the podcast, but I think the poll was for Half-Blood Prince- The Twiiter team showed teasers in order to get users to guess which chapter from Goblet Of Fire would be revisited. There was a poll for the Half Blood Prince chapter revisit where they announced that they had a winner a week ago. I think it was Hermione’s Helping Hand that won.

    No, it’s Sorcerer’s Stone!!! When the troll was let in!! They eat the rest of the Halloween feast in the common room!!!

    • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

      I think they’ve done polls for all of the chapter revisits so far. I remember voting in this poll (not for The Yule Ball, alas, but this is a great discussion, from what I’ve listened to! There’s definitely a lot more in this chapter than I’d remembered.)

      Good recall on the common room feast!

      • BloodCharm

        Wouldn’t that be kinda redundant, lol? Trying to make users guess the chapter when there’s already a poll that gives the user the answer? I mean, I’ll look for a poll, but I doubt that they always do it.

        • BloodCharm

          Oh I guess you’re right, lol- well, there’s no definitive way of knowing WHAT chapter they’ll be doing and if the chapter will for sure be the one from the poll is not definitive either and hell it gives listeners a chance to pick the chapter they want to listen to the most, so I guess that’s a positive thing.

          • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

            Right, I know what you mean about it being redundant but it’s probably mainly just for fun, and because some people may not have seen the poll or, if it’s a close poll, the result might have changed from the time you voted and saw the results. Not everyone uses twitter though, so hopefully they will also discuss chapters that aren’t selected based on these polls, to be more fair to all listeners.

          • Michael Harle

            For all of our listeners who don’t use Twitter, we definitely welcome chapter suggestions through the Submit a Topic page as well! :{D

            I can also attest that those polls do manage to surprise! Hermione’s Helping Hand was trailing behind two other chapters when I first saw the Half-Blood Prince poll, so I was pleasantly surprised when it won. ^_^

          • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

            Thanks! I know Alohomora does your best to include everybody.

  • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

    Katie, thank you a million times for calling out Ron on his treatment of Pigwidgeon!!! He doesn’t just yell at him, he physically seizes this poor little owl in his fist! This boy needs a lesson in humane treatment of his fellow creatures. I’m with you and those scandalized third-year girls.

    I also noticed the chess line when reading this time, but was struggling to figure out the metaphor. Now your analysis makes so much sense! Harry and Cedric as the brave pawns in this crazy dangerous tournament masquerading as a friendly school competition (right now I’m hearing Emma Watson’s voice in my head, “These tasks are designed to test you. In the most brutal way. They’re almost cruel.”) and either Voldemort or Crouch Jr. as the violent bishop. I think either could fit with the diagonal movement of the bishop piece: Crouch Jr. is, as you guys pointed out on the podcast, orchestrating everything, but scheming in disguise, operating obliquely as fake Moody. Voldemort is also acting indirectly for most of this book and only has the power to take forceful action at the very end — much like the bishop is an end-game piece (according to what I read online about chess, lol; chess masters please correct me if this is a bunch of nonsense). Crouch is also the one who bewitches the cup to be a portkey in the final task, so he has an end-game role to play, too.

    • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      You are so welcome! Poor little Pig…he wants to please SO badly! Ron should have just given Pig to Ginny if his masculinity was that threatened by Pig’s personality. She clearly knows how to take care of her pet, Arnold. As a matter of fact, what happens to Pigwidgeon in Deathly Hallows? Ron clearly doesn’t bring him along for the Horcrux hunt. I guess he leaves him at home? And what did Hermione do with Crookshanks for that matter??

      I’m glad you like my chess theory! You’re absolutely right that the violent bishop could just as easily apply to BCJ. I like your interpretation of the diagonal movement. I know next to nothing about chess, so the info that you and the other hosts gave me was much appreciated :)

      • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        Hah, check out a quote from Jo I just found when I was looking for something else…lol:

        Apart from the vocabulary, another source of great pleasure to Rowling and her fans is the mass of amusing detail in her books. “I’ve got a broad outline for each book but I leave myself wide latitude to find different ways of doing things. Otherwise half the pleasure would be gone. I’ve got bits of Six and Seven written in old notebooks. Sometimes they get used verbatim, sometimes not at all. Sometimes something I’ve discarded crops up later. In Philosopher’s Stone I had a game of chess between Harry and Ron which Ron won by using a particularly violent bishop. My editor made me take it out. He didn’t want me to have a bad bishop. Well, he’s back, I have a different editor now.”
        http://www.accio-quote.org/articles/2000/0708-herald-johnstone.html

        I wonder if the original game featured only one pawn? O_O

        • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

          There is a lot of interesting stuff in that interview! Book five will be shorter than book four? Ha!

      • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

        I’ve wondered about Crookshanks and Pig during the Deathly Hallows period. Hermione and Ron may have left them at the Burrow for safety initially, because it was being protected, but what happened once the Weasleys had to relocate to Auntie Muriel’s? I hope they took the animals with them. And what about the chickens??? War is just as traumatic for the animals, sadly. Could you imagine Muriel’s reaction, though, to having a bunch of chickens clucking around her yard, and little Pigwidgeon fluttering about all day long? :)

        • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

          OMG Muriel would treat Pig even worse than Ron! *cries* Also, speaking of owls in the war, I hope that the Hogwarts school owls had the sense to fly away once the battle broke out :

      • DoraNympha

        This owl love here is amazing, I’m so here for it. #ProtectPig
        Reminder that in GoF, in the summer, all four owls, Hedwig, Hermes, Pig and Errol, were at The Burrow at the same time. I’d love a spinoff of their lives. The Secret Life of Pets: Harry Potter edition, in which Hedwig and Hermes judge the heck out of the others but Pig is too excited and Errol too tired to care. With cameos of gnomes and cats.

        • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

          LOL!!! I would so watch that!

        • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

          that should be the next episode: Pets in the Harry Potter series. And invite a bunch of the Speak Beasty hosts for a collab!

        • travellinginabluebox

          Isn’t there a tumblr post where someone wrote a little scene in the Hogwarts owlery? As far as I remember it went something like this:
          Other owls: “I just brought my master cookies from home, he will be so happy”
          Hedwig: “Bitch please, I just delivered a coded letter to a roaming mass murderer searched by the ministry.”

      • RickJM

        It has nothing to do with masulinity. Pig is annoying, it’s that simple.

        • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

          Matter of opinion. Pig is not annoying to me.

    • RickJM

      So what about Ron’s treatment of Scabbers then? The concern he has for him (before the truth is revealed)? He went and spent money on medicine for Scabbers in POA. Pig is annoying. He’s like one of those little yappy dogs that only their owners like but everyone else just wants to shut up.

      • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

        True, Ron is very protective of Scabbers! Those are some of his most endearing moments for me. It shows he has it in him. And it must have been traumatic (to put it mildly) to realize what his “pet” had been all along, and he’s probably taking it out on Pig. Still, that doesn’t change the fact that he should treat Pig better. And Kreacher, and Mrs. Norris (I’m positive at one point he tries to kick her from under the Invisibility Cloak). They might be annoying or unpleasant, but that doesn’t justify treating them badly.

  • The Austro-Hungarian Empire had a two-headed eagle in its coat of arms, so if that’s the same eagle Durmstrang has, that could mean it’s located somewhere in the Alps.

    • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

      Wow, how had I never noticed that connection between Durmstrang and Sturm und Drang? Thank you for pointing that out!

    • Huffleclaw

      That makes so much sense, I wish I had thought of it. The lack of clarity on Durmstrang’s location is frustrating to me. I know it makes sense story-wise but it would not hurt for Rowling to say “The school is in the Alps” or where-ever. Reading the small bits of information like being in the far north of Europe in the mountains made me think of the Urals, but the linguistic information you provided made that seem unlikely. Your Alps theory lets everything line up perfectly!

      • I still like my Alps theory, but just to be thorough I’ve done a little research.

        Besides Austria-Hungary, both Albania and the Russian Empire of the Czars use(d) double-headed eagles in their coats of arms. Discarding Albania because it’s so far south and judging from the illustration on Pottermore, Durmstrang would seem to be located somewhere in the general vicinity of St. Petersburg and the Baltic states, and while there are many lakes there, the area is essentially as flat as a pancake. The closest mountainous areas that could be likely candidates for the location of Durmstrang are northern Finland and the Kola Peninsula, the Carpathians from southern Poland to Transylvania, and – as you mentioned – the Urals. Of these, I think the best choice would be the Polish Carpathians, somewhere around Zakopane for example.

    • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      The only issue with the coat of arms is that it was created by MinaLima for the film. It is also included on Pottermore, which lends more credence to its canonicity, but it still specifies that the art is by MinaLima. I wonder how much influence Jo had on it. My guess would be a lot but I hate that we remain uncertain. I also just came across this on Pottermore which I don’t think I’d read before:

      “Durmstrang is believed to be located in the far north of Europe, so it’s not surprising that many European influences have been used in this crest design. For example, the name of the school is embossed in both Latin and Cyrillic script, a practice in that region. Similarly, the onion dome backdrop is a prominent feature in Muggle Russian architecture – think of the Kremlin.”
      https://www.pottermore.com/features/the-macusa-seal-and-other-emblems-of-the-wizarding-world

      So that seems to point towards northern Europe again and, specifically, Russia.

      • Onion domes are, admittedly, mostly associated with Russia, however many Catholic churches in Bavaria, Austria and other central European countries also have onion domed towers.

    • DoraNympha

      …Which is insane because what language are the classes in at all? Do BB and DS students take language classes before/at school or are they taught separately, at least in the first years? There must be some magical help with this – Crouch knew like over 200 languages, right? – but there’s still the politics of it AND a lot of magic is through language, spells, for which the exact languages matter so much. As interesting as it would be, I would not appreciate having to learn all my spells in a language that I don’t speak yet, when first arriving at a magical school because it would be such a disadvantage compared to native speakers.

      I’m so critical of there being only 11 big schools in the world. There are so many remote historical sources and myths that could feed Rowling’s imagination in these terms. I’m from Hungary and it seems insane to go to the north of Norway to some fireless castle to study in German or Russian at age 11, which is probably what Durmstrang is like. Why not tap into one of those myths? For example, can I offer Scholomance as one of the easiest to find options? Some vague sources imply this was a magical school in Transylvania. It’s exactly the sort of thing that makes you go “Did it exist? We don’t know for sure…. but….. could have….. only Muggles can’t know……” Very Rowlingian. The world is full of these and how is Durmstrang smaller than Hogwarts, which is only for students from the British Isles? The very existence of the Triwizard Cup should suggest that these are the three most prestigious, ancient schools in Europe, not that they are the only three, shouldn’t it? So confused.

      • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        Wow. I’d never even thought about children from so many countries going to one school and knowing only their home language! I’m pretty sure that English is a mandatory subject for many European students but I don’t know how early that instruction begins. Would they be fluent by age 11? And what about other continents? I don’t think they all require English instruction.

        Since the spells taught at Hogwarts are all Latin-based, I imagine that the same spells are taught at Durmstrang and Beauxbatons. But, again, what about the other non-English-speaking continents? I don’t imagine that Japanese wizards would be fooling around with Latin.

        And I just remembered that there already is a Russian wizarding school…Koldovstoretz. So surely Durmstrang can’t be in or super close to Russia, can it? That would make no sense. Then again, Russia is VERY wide.

        • DoraNympha

          Well, if there really are only 11 real, big wizarding schools like those named, I’d still be apprehensive about going to Russia to study. They don’t even have the same alphabet, that would intrigue 11-year-old me but it would certainly hinder my progress unless I’m raised bilingually, knowing I’ll probably attend Koldovstoretz. However, that is discriminatory with Muggle-borns, if you think about it, kind of like the reasonable use of underage magic! Anyway: if Koldovstoretz is Russia’s only school, it must be a huge palace of a school! Ohhh, wait, is there a Koldovstoretz Express? If the Hogwarts Express takes all day to complete a 5-hour journey, how long does the Trans-Siberian Magic Railway take?

          I really thought DS was just in Germany because it sounded like it, regardless of the uniform but I think it just makes more sense if it’s a Germanic school with just a few exceptional students from elsewhere, such as Krum, or such as Malfoy would have been, wherever its location is supposed to be.

          I can’t remember if it’s only a movie-ism but I’m pretty sure in the film Krum says a Slavic version of Avada Kedavra. I think anyone could manage any spell with enough practice (and a little correction… it’s leviOHsa, not Leviossaaa). The Latin and Greek ones are the fancy, tough spells anyway, and Hogwarts kids learn to use them just fine, but I’d imagine simple household spells such as Scourgify come more easily in a language or languages you actually speak. It’s actually a mystery why they don’t learn Latin, Greek, or other common/ancient languages to understand spell-creation more. Don’t they have Theory of Magic, as an extracurricular? Sign me up if there’s a club! Interesting and logical that the fancy ancient sounding spells aren’t translated in the international books for the most part but the everyday spells are. Makes sense. Imagine the spells inventive spirits such as the twins could have made up if they had learnt a foreign language (had they?). While I don’t think English is a lingua franca in DS or BB respectively, I guess it would make sense that there is a dominant language in each place – however, the delegations certainly spoke English just fine, in addition to, what, like, six other languages they already know at least a little because their friend groups are multinational on home turf?

          I actually think these multicultural environments would be great for learning if the language barriers are not an issue. Otherwise, Rowling, as a teacher, probably knows that such things as impractical language policies can really hinder a child’s learning. This is a huge problem in places where administrations are trying to prove a point, such as cases of schools in Transylvania where children’s primary language is Hungarian but they are only allowed to study in Romanian when they start school and don’t know what’s going on for a while, falling behind others, or the Catalan vs. Spanish issue, similarly, getting the way of education. If this is not an issue in BB and DS, though, then I’d probably even prefer them over Hogwarts!

          Still, if I could have a clean slate, I’d group schools more practically based on language alone. It makes sense that British and Irish children can learn together, in English (and they can learn runes as an elective). But then, on the Continent, German, Austrian, Swiss, and Lichtensteinian children could study together without language barriers, East Slavic, West Slavic, South Slavic children respectively can potentially study together without an extra foreign language class, and then Finnish+Estonian, or Swedish+Danish+Norwegian+Icelandic children could get over the dialect differences, et cetera… it wouldn’t be perfect but it’s much easier to understand a dialect than an entirely new language. There was talk of Austria-Hungary in another comment, in which many people grew up speaking 3-4 languages because you had to speak your native tongue, talk to your neighbours, but also get official business done, etc. It’s possible. It just feels like Rowling’s organization, looking at the Continent from the Isles, is a bit too simple.

          • Languages and dialects are funny things…

            I can really only speak for German dialects, but even so… even within a small country like Austria, where everyone speaks – nominally – German, there are many regional dialects that are almost unintelligible to people from other parts of the country… and don’t get me started on northern German dialects and whatever it is the Swiss speak and euphemistically call Swiss German. 😉

            Consequently, almost every kid in these countries essentially grows up bilingual, with the local dialect and High German as used in writing and on TV.

            In Austria, the teaching of at least one foreign language (English in 99+ % of cases) is mandatory in middle school, that is from around age 10 onward, but usually starts already in primary school.

          • DoraNympha

            Yes, English is sort of the one language everyone learns now. It was mandatory Russian in Eastern Europe before 1989 of course. Interestingly, my parents’ generation hated it because it was forced but it’s making a comeback here among students at my university! German was the second option when I was in school, then French and Italian. I kind of think it seems like a point of pride, though, that DS and BB wouldn’t use English as their common language but rather one of the Continental ones. It’s not like in the Muggle world after all.

            Dialects and languages are a funny thing – which is why I’ve always loved English, there are so many different dialects and accents! Never gets boring. This magical school question is so complex – apparently Portugeese speakers can understand Spanish but not the other way round. When I was in Catalonia, I was relying on my French to understand it rather than any Spanish travel dictionary. Even accents can be so diverse within one language so that it becomes difficult to communicate. I also think that if it’s really just the three big schools plus Koldovstoretz (I think Jo said smaller schools exist but who would choose them? fewer resources. but they might be good if they specialize in a certain field of magic – a Seer School in Delphoi, for instance?), then a lot of opportunity for lots of cool schools is lost. I really want a castle in the Alps, a Renaissance set of buildings off the coast of Italy that is the safekeep of Latin-based magic, an Egyptian school where you can become a boss animagus and study the afterlife, all sorts of different magic schools that you can imagine, the more the better!

          • I love your idea of specialized magic schools. I imagine the Seer school in Delphoi would look (and smell) like a late 60ies Hippie commune…

          • DoraNympha

            Yes! There IS higher education of some sort in the wizarding world, apparently. I wonder if there is a WAFA – an adacemy for fine arts! All those paintings didn’t paint themselves! (Aside from, well, self-portraits, I assume.)
            We also knoe Castelobruxo is great at Herbology in particular. I guess there must be a certain special appeal to every school, big or small! So many things!

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            Haha, my nephews are growing up in Switzerland and it’s hilarious talking to them sometimes. Their mom speaks to them in English, their dad in High German and they’re also learning Swiss German in school. I know a little bit of German, so I can typically figure out what they’re trying to say if they slip up and speak to me in German. But then they’ll pull out a Swiss German word and it’s like…wha? lol Apparently they just drop letters…so Regenbogen turns into Regeboge (or something like that). Though I have to admit, some of the Swiss German words do sound “cuter” lol 😀

          • travellinginabluebox

            Yep, we love people with Swiss German where I am from in Germany, which is near Stuttgart, so not far from Switzerland. But they also have some very specific terms that are completely different to German. But it really does sound a lot nicer and cuter than German.

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            Hi there, I also live near Stuttgart. So what are you up to on September 1st? :-)

          • travellinginabluebox

            Oh I am flying to Orlando to attend MNL on Tuesday actually. :-)
            But we should definitely meet up some other time!

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            That would be smashing!

            Have the best of times in Orlando!!

          • travellinginabluebox

            Thanks, I had a blast. Meeting everyone of MN was the best, especially in the parks. Just nothing better than hanging in the park with fellow dedicated Potterheads and sharing all the stories and memories together.

          • travellinginabluebox

            Can only agree with that. No matter where you are from in the DACH region, if someone is speaking in a strong dialect it will be almost impossible for the other person to understand it, if they aren’t used to that dialect.
            But then again Britain has a lot of strong accents as well with Scottish and Irish just as an example, and I have met Americans in New Zealand that had trouble understanding the kiwi accent, so that will always be a factor I suppose.

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            “It’s actually a mystery why they don’t learn Latin, Greek, or other common/ancient languages to understand spell-creation more. Don’t they have Theory of Magic, as an extracurricular? Sign me up if there’s a club!”

            Yes!! This!

          • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

            One of the required first-year texts is Magical Theory by Adalbert Waffling, which I’ve always assumed was for Flitwick’s Charms class (although I’m not sure if that’s clearly stated). But they seem to drop theory after that, which seems nuts because older students are much more likely to be able to grasp the nuances of a theoretical approach to magic and spell creation, plus I don’t know how they could cover all pertinent information in the first year. Maybe they continue to use this book to learn the theoretical grounding of charms in subsequent years, but we mostly just see them practicing spells in class. Although they do write essays as well, which probably require them to discuss theory to some degree. Anyway, I am joining this nerdy Theory of Magic club, too. Do we meet in the library or maybe down by the lake if the weather’s nice?

            The language study should definitely be a part of the curriculum.

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            And what about wizarding students in India? Aren’t there like 20 something different “official” languages there, plus different dialects? Plus, I would think population alone would warrant at least a couple of their own schools, just to cover the region, before even counting the surrounding countries.

          • As far as I know Pottermore has only named seven of the eleven big, prestigious wizarding schools. Koldovstoretz would be the eighth one, so there’s still three unaccounted for. China, India and Indonesia being three of the most populated countries in the world, one would assume at least two of the remaining great schools to be located in that general area.

          • travellinginabluebox

            Well I suppose another hint for the location of Durmstrang would be the nation of Grindelwald. Given from what we know of him I would had said a German speaking country but who knows?
            Because apart from Krum, who is Bulgarian and Grindelwald we do not meet any other student from Durmstrang. And there already seems to be quite the stretch between Krum and Grindelwald, unless Krum was raised in a German-speaking household I really do not see that happening.

      • Huffleclaw

        I terms of language, I always imagined there was a charm or enchantment on the grounds of schools like Durmstrang, Beauxbatons, ect. where you can understand what is being taught and being spoken no matter your birth language. I can see it being a similar experience to Harry has when he hears or speaks parseltongue. He does not initially realize he is hearing or speaking in another language. So the way I see it, as spell could make students (and teachers) hear conversations in their native/most comfortable tongue and not realize that they are hearing another language. Almost like how water changes the sound of the mersong in the egg, entering the school grounds allows you to converse with people who don’t speak your same language. Of course, if you’re a French Beauxbatons student and become best friends with a student from Spain that might make for interesting holidays! Just my headcanon thoughts.

        • travellinginabluebox

          Oh how the Tardis works in Doctor Who. I suppose that could be a suitable solution, however why do wizards like Dumbledore and Crouch learn languages if it could be also fixed by magic? They are both very strong wizards, so I would assume they could learn such a spell.

          • Huffleclaw

            The way I picture the spell working is one that affects areas – the Beauxbatons grounds for example, not one for individuals. Kind of like my understanding of the Fidelius Charm. If it was one that people can use, I could argue that Dumbledore the bookish academic would relish the chance to learn new languages. Crouch would find it easier to learn the languages than have to cast a spell every time he meets new diplomats.

      • Rosmerta’s Turquoise Shoes

        Babel fish, it has to be!

    • CatOak123

      When I read the HP books, I always assumed that Durmstrang was in Bulgaria, because Krum came from Bulgaria and he went there. And since we had only seen Hogwarts as an example, a UK school that only UK kids attend, or at least UK and Ireland, that meant that you went to school in the country you live in. Listening to the original podcast discussing the schools was the first time I heard of Durmstrang possibly being elsewhere, and even then I wasn’t convinced. It wasn’t until the info on all the schools came out that I realised it could be somewhere else. My feeling now is that it’s in North Eastern Europe, possibly Belarus or one of the 3 Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania). I never saw Durmstrang as Russian as there is already a school in Russia. Of course it is possible that it is in Scandinavia as has been suggested, but it didn’t feel Scandinavian to me from the little info we get on it in the books. And if Beauxbatons takes students from western Europe, where do all the magical kids from Eastern Europe go? They can’t ALL go to Koldovstoretz (Russia)!

    • travellinginabluebox

      I suppose Grindelwald attending that school would make sense too, since that is German name as well.
      But Krum is Bulgarian and so my main concern in any theory regarding Durmstrang is, what language do they speak there? After all Europe has a lot of languages! So either Durmstrag is specific to one country or they teach there in English?

      And then there is the other thing with everyone coming to Hogwarts speaking English. I suppose they have English as a subject in other magical schools then? Because I am fairly certain Beauxbaton students are taught in French. And if so, are they using the same spells as the English speaking witches and wizards? It seems like they do. And why on Earth is there no Latin class at Hogwarts?
      So many questions!

      • Maybe Latin is a special class that is only taught when there’s enough interest, like Alchemy.

    • DontHaveAGoodUserName

      It’s funny you pointed towards the A-H Empire, because the first thing I came up with is the Russian coat of arms (with a double-headed eagle), and its origin, which is the Byzantine Empire. Serbia has a coat of arms that contains a double-headed eagle. This is a country with very strong Slavic identities. Both coat of arms are still in use present-day. It is also important to point out that one interpretation of the double-headed eagle is the crossroad at which the Byzantine Empire sat represents the dual identity of the East and the West of the empire. This is carried through the fact that the Russian choice of the double-headed eagle stems from the idea that the Russian identity is both European and Asiatic, but also not quite either, thus the heads of the eagle looking both ways. It is said the Romanov dynasty also saw themselves as the sole legitimate inheritor of the Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire) due to royal intermarriages.

      Central and Eastern European history is particularly difficult to study and to parse. Within a UK perspective, it is highly common to group the rest of Europe into France and everyone else. It is even common to group Europeans all together if you are non-European. It is not to say they don’t have similarities, I find many myself, but the particularities and the details make the experience of learning about each and every segments of history and culture very enriching.

      As for the location, I always believed that an area with strong German AND Russian influence would be ideal, so the Baltic will suit the climate but not necessarily the landscape. Poland/Ukraine are known for their stretches of plains, although as you have pointed out, they do have some mountains. Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria have some great mountains either around them or within, but the climate is a bit warmer. Although the geographical description in the books place it more in Northern Scandinavia, I can live with the Carpathians. Maybe Jo knows her European geography, maybe she doesn’t.

      The pre-Pottermore choices behind the landscape of the wilder wizard community may come from a number of factors. First, we all know GOF was fairly rushed. Second, consider the overall plot of the story, now that we have read all seven, the wilder wizard community didn’t need to be developed anyway because of the minimal role they played. Third, if each community is based on countries existing in the Muggle world, then the landscape will vary when countries underwent expansion and compression, leading to a number of ramifications that only constrains the story, not strengthening it. The simpler landscape (there were only two other schools in Europe) at that time served its purpose.

      With Pottermore, there are just too many things went wrong when the other wizarding schools were revealed, I don’t really know where to begin *facepalm*

      • Well, as an Austrian myself I might be just a little bit biased in that direction. 😉

        You’re right, of course, I forgot that Serbia also has a double-headed eagle, however, the same arguments that speak against Albania also apply to Serbia.

        Geographically, the description given in GoF fits both Northern Scandinavia and the Carpathians, particularly the High Tatras along the border between Poland and Slovakia. My preference for the latter is merely based on the fact that it’s within the erstwhile borders of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and more centrally located in regards to the nations sending students to the school.

  • daveybjones999 .

    With regards to Hermione’s transformation, I’ve always read it that this is something that Hermione always secretly wanted. I think she always wanted to be the prettiest girl in the room, that’s popular with everyone and gets doted over for it. So when Victor Krum asks her out to the Yule Ball, this is obviously a huge self esteem booster for her, because a famous Quidditch player whom the entire school seems to worship for his sports prowess, whom probably gets several marriage, or date requests a day, asks her out to the ball. She whom most people probably view as a bit of a know-it-all, who has bushy hair, and buck teeth and Victor Krum asks her out because he sees something in her that not many other people do. That he sees the smart, funny, talented, and beautiful person that Hermione always knew herself to be, but that not many people notice, so she decides to take the chance she’s been given. She can finally be the person she’s always wondered what it would be like to become, and what she’s also always wanted to be, if even just a little bit. So she goes and she grabs what she wants and becomes the most beautiful girl in the room, whom nobody, not even Pansy Parkinson, or Draco Malfoy can criticize in this moment, and she has fun, despite Ron nearly ruining the entire experience for her, but she doesn;t let that ruin her evening, and she has a lot of fun regardless. And then the next day because just one time to be that type of person was enough for her, she goes back to the way she was before, but this time more confident and sure of herself than ever before.

    • BloodCharm

      Yes! Well said!!

    • Rosmerta’s Turquoise Shoes

      Yes!

  • frumpybutsupersmart

    I haven’t listened to the main episode yet but I would like to shoutout to every person who, like me, desperately wants to go to Mugglenet Live but can’t because of geography :'( I live in Australia but it feels like it may as well be Narnia.

    [PS – the hosts know my username is an AVPM reference, right? It’s Hermione’s introduction but paraphrased.]

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      seconded, the event sounds wonderful, but it’s just two plane tickets too far. And while the guest list has lots of interesting persons, I believe some Alohomora listeners are most happy about the chance to meet our dear hosts, whom we’ve been listening to for hours on end, a little more than about meeting young actors who’ve been on screen for a few short scenes. We’ve just had way more time to bond with you guys. :-)

      • Michael Harle

        Having missed out on more than a few Potter events myself, I can empathize with you all. Don’t worry, though! Our plans for the event account for all of you who can’t make it and we’ve definitely got a few ideas to ensure you’re included in the fun. :{D

        [PS – Thank you for the reminder on your username, @frumpybutsupersmart:disqus. I haven’t watched AVPM for a *long* time. Also, living in Narnia sounds awesome]

        • frumpybutsupersmart

          Yeah Narnia is pretty awesome, but there are some really weird animals here …

          • SnapesManyButtons

            I love your username! When they were not understanding it on the other podcast, I was yelling at them, “It’s from A Harry Potter Musical! It’s a great name!”

          • frumpybutsupersmart

            Thanks! I love your username too!

      • Rosmerta’s Turquoise Shoes

        Same here, can’t go but would love to meet the hosts in person. You seem like real friends, if that doesn’t seem creepy! Have a weird flavour ice cream in honour of those of us who can’t attend Mugglenet Live!
        What is AVPM?!

        • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

          Not creepy at all :) But if you’ve painted a picture of Michael on your bedroom wall, I demand to see pics 😀
          AVPM = A Very Potter Musical. I believe it’s on YouTube. I just haven’t taken the time to watch it. Must remedy that soon :)

          • Rosmerta’s Turquoise Shoes

            Thank you, must check it out too! No paintings in the wall…yet!

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        Aww :( I’m sorry you guys aren’t able to come. It is quite the expense though, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make it either, and I’m significantly closer than you guys, so I get it. Also LeakyCon is the same weekend, as well as DragonCon, which is like the biggest fantasy/sci-fi specific con and also takes place in the southeastern US, so I know of several people that had to make a tough choice.

        As excited as I am to hopefully get my copy of QTTA signed by Sean Biggerstaff, I am really looking forward to meeting the hosts. And actually, I was really hoping to run into some of my fellow commenters too! We all have spent so much time chatting here, it would be cool to do it in person! Looks like there will just be a few of us though :( I’ll cheers my first butterbeer to you all though!

        • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

          OMG that’s a brilliant idea to get him to sign QTTA!!! If I end up carrying a backpack with which to hold all my crap, I may have to do the same…lol. Are you bringing items for the other actors to sign as well?

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            I hadn’t really thought about bringing anything else, just because his is really the only signature I’m definitely going to try for (hello, my 1st teenage celebrity crush). At first I wanted to bring my copy of SS, but QTTA is much more compact. I’m debating how much crap I want to carry and whether or not to bring a backpack too lol. If I get any of the others they’ll probably just be in the book too, or something random I pick up while there. I thought about bringing CC and having them sign it lol, but considering how I feel about it, I don’t really want to confer that sentimental status and value upon it. And it’s significantly bulkier.

    • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      I still haven’t watched AVPM *hangs head in shame*

      And this is my very first Harry Potter convention/celebration type event, so I feel your pain! I’ve missed out on so many.

  • You’reGettingOnMynerva

    Love you guys but you all are pronouncing Parvati’s name all wrong. My daughter’s name is Parvati and it’s pronounced Par•vuh•tee (Vitty) for short. Reference this for spoken pronunciation: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3_WtTTxbsTk#

    • Michael Harle

      Consider it added to my “Re-learn to Pronounce” dictionary in my head. ^_^

      • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        How did I butcher Beauxbatons so badly in that episode? I know better than that…lol

        Thank you for letting us know about Parvati’s pronunciation! And I agree with Michael on your most excellent username 😀

  • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

    The Yule Ball scene in the movie will always remind me of one my best friend’s wedding. She picked “Neville’s waltz” for their first dance and it was the most adorable and sweet thing to see them dancing to this beautiful piece of music, two people whom I’ve loved so much for so long, and then watching them being joined by their parents, who’ve loved them even longer, that makes me cry happy tears every time I remember it.

  • frumpybutsupersmart

    I kinda get what Alison was saying about Hermione’s reaction to Fleur complaining that her dress robes wouldn’t fit. It’s like when your beautiful friend starts saying ‘oh, I’m having such a bad hair day’ or ‘oh no, my skin is awful’ and your reaction is basically ‘please shut up, you know you’re gorgeous, some of us actually have to try hard to look nice’. It’s not the nicest reaction, it’s completely understandable.

    • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      It is understandable, especially for a typical 15 year old girl. I think the reason it jumps out at me is that Hermione is not a typical teenage girl in many respects. But I have to remember that we only see her from Harry’s perspective. I’d love to hear some of the conversations she had with Ginny and other female characters when the boys were not around. Maybe they would show her to be a little more human and a little less perfect :)

      • travellinginabluebox

        Oh yes, that would be amazing to have!

  • frumpybutsupersmart

    The comparison between Ron and Hermione’s argument and Arthur and Percy’s argument in OOTP was interesting to me. They may be comparable in some respects, but I think the main difference between Ron accusing Hermione of ‘fraternising with the enemy’ and Arthur accusing Percy of that is that Arthur is actually right. In Ron’s case, all his old insecurities came up and he threw them at Hermione because he was a dumb 14-year-old and didn’t know how to deal with them; in Arthur’s case, he was genuinely concerned that his son was being manipulated by the Minister and used as an unwitting spy against his family. I’m not saying Arthur went about expressing his feelings very well, but at least he had facts on his side – Ron was just a hormonal mess.

    • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      Truth :)

  • daveybjones999 .

    Another comment, normally I refrain from talking about the movies in the comment section, because this is mostly a book based discussion, but this episode opened the discussion up so I’m writing my thoughts on the film I think one of the reasons Goblet is one of my least favorite moments can be explained by a quote from the director Mike Newel. In the Ultimate Edition for Goblet of Fire, during the picture in picture commentary track, the director states that the aspect that most struck him about the book was the thriller aspects, and he decided to play those aspects up and make it a thriller. The problem with this is that this is actually the most mystery heavy book in the series, so trying to translate that into a thriller doesn’t work. Most elements of mystery are either removed, or changed to make it obvious, thus ruining some of the films biggest reveals. Without the deleted scenes it’s my least favorite of the franchise. Mostly because starting with the Yule ball the film starts to lose focus. It focuses less on the main plot and more on side stuff with a greater emphasis on the three tasks. This wouldn’t have been a problem if the side stuff was better or if there wasn’t important stuff from the books that should have been in instead. It really loses the mystery aspect which I loved. This is immediately fixed by putting 3 deleted scenes back in. the first one is in the middle of the Yule ball. It’s a scene between karkaroff and snape which adds back in a feeling of dread, by bringing a connection between them and foreshadowing Voldemort’s return. The second is right before Harry visits Dumbledore with Ron stating the prophet won’t report Crouch’s death adding a more sinister undercurrent to the ministry. The last is right before the third task of Harry talking about how Snape thought he was making polyjuice potion and then Harrys scar hurts which makes him think something’s coming. This adds more to the mystery and adds a greater connection and sense of urgency and suspense which was missing from the theatrical release. It’s still an excellent film, but it’s my least favorite for these reasons. Also I’m glad that I finally found someone other than my older brother whose favorite (standalone in my case) film in the series is Half-Blood Prince which is very rare.

    • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

      The Half-Blood Prince film is my favorite, too, but Dealthly Hallows Part One is a co-favorite :)

      • travellinginabluebox

        I second this.

    • SnapesManyButtons

      Half Blood Prince is my favorite movie! Mostly because it’s so Snape-centric but I like it best overall, too.

  • DoraNympha

    That was such a fun episode! ^^ I recently opened someone’s eyes to the CGI hippogriff poop that they hadn’t noticed before. Well, I had NOT noticed that the carriage shakes in the deleted scene. Also, reaching back to the previous episode (thanks for the shoutout wooo), if you think about it, Snape and Karkaroff are very much taking a stroll in the rose bushes… I wonder if there’s a deep dark corner of fanfiction sites that reads too much into that. Would it be less cringey than Hagrid and Maxime? I’m doubtful. So much cringing in this chapter!

    I’ll limit myself to two observations/questions this time:

    Firstly, I want to kind of justify Percy’s oversight: I mean, this isn’t even wartime yet. He was there to put down the Death Eaters’ attack in the summer but nothing fishy is happening yet. You’d have to be a conspiracy theorist or paranoid like Moody to jump to the conclusion that your boss must be taking time off because he’s being Imperioed by his long-dead son who is miraculously alive and is seeking to bring back a dark wizard from the dead. It’s a bit of a stretch… I don’t see how anyone in their right mind could have guessed something was seriously wrong. And Crouch is a strict person even when he’s himself, so you don’t want to go questioning him (or really any supervisor of yours in a first job that’s actually pretty good). They say later that Percy should have realised Crouch was acting unusually but… how much did he even know of the real, uncursed Crouch? A couple of weeks, perhaps? It was everyone’s BUT a new employee’s responsibility to notice that Couch was being odd. Also, I’m going to give this annoying prat a begrudging shoutout too because, while he is indeed being his usual pompous and self-important self, he is very much shouldering the entire foreign affairs of the country, at just, what, 18? And he’s doing it just fine. I’m not sure how well Voldemort or Crouch Jr. know the government to be able to instruct Crouch Sr. to tell his assistant what to do by letter exactly every day. This is also not their priority. So Percy’s putting a lot of work into this on his own and he was obviously successful for months at it. To be honest, I’d be indignant and offended too if after all that, my own father told me I didn’t deserve a promotion. He’s doing his job well, more than well, for some assistant not a year out of school! He may come across as arrogant or proud but he does have reasons to be so.

    Also, if I were to project my own reputation all throughout school on this character, I’d say that it might be more just people’s perception that he’s full of himself beyond reason – my own sin was getting straight As and winning a couple of competitions as extra things and I was very careful not to brag about them precisely because I knew from Harry Potter that you mustn’t do that. And yet I was nevertheless perceived as that smartarse know-it-all (I went to an elementary school where they used “Hermione” as an insult) and that kinda thing just snowballs, people I had never spoken to assumed I must be full of myself so I purpusefully went into the opposite sometimes, berating myself and STILL everyone just filed me away as that girl that thinks she’s better than everyone.

    This is horrible, I used to be one of the sensible readers and judged Percy, as one should if they follow the narration, but the older I get the more I think he was right (nooo… save me…).

    Secondly, I just don’t get Krum. How is he an international Quidditch star when he apparently doesn’t leave for matches with his team during terms? Isn’t he supposed to be training all day, every day, and play at games every week or so? I get that the World Cup was just this past summer and so he has 4 years until the next one but he should probably be training with his team and prepare for games in Bulgaria, as well as, idk, European championships, whatever competitions they must have in the wizarding world. I don’t know what the schedule of professional sportspeople is like but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t involve skipping 9 months of training every year because he has school. He doesn’t practice on the Hogwarts pitch, though we do see him swim, yes, but that’s presumably because he’s figured out the second task (well, Karkaroff did). Or is it just that we don’t see him occasionally take a trip back home to appear at some matches? Do the Bulgarian team just put up with his long absence because he’s so good anyway? How young did he even start pro Quidditch if he’s a world renown player and gets to the finals at 17? How young CAN one start? Krum???

    • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      So many great points and questions! Gah, now I’M super curious about Krum’s professional Quidditch playing! And that’s horrible to hear that Hermione has ever been used as an insult. I wonder how common that is. But you should take pride in being compared to her. Harry never would have made it as far as he did without her!

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      maybe after Krum ended the World Cup final match on his own terms his team was not very pleased and he was asked to concentrate on finishing school for a while.

      • DoraNympha

        Maybe Krum was the one who told his team they had 9 months while he finished school to catch up to his level? 😀

        • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

          agreed, that’s the reason. “Bye guys, I’m gonna go win something else while you practice your basic flying.”

    • travellinginabluebox

      Since a lot of people seem to be confused with professional sports here, I’ll explain the bits I know: The World Cup as well as the European Cup is played with the national teams, which is essentially a selection of the best players of a country in that sport. This is something that a player basically does without getting paid, as it is an honor to be representing your country.
      Professional sports means league sport and league teams, like the once mentioned in QTTA. So Krum might even play in the British league for all we know. With that talent he displayed he could easily be signed up with any team in Europe that is willing to pay for him.
      As for training and matches, I would agree that it is weird that he doesn’t practice during his time at Hogwarts, but there might be three reasons for that:
      1. We just don’t get to see it, because Harry’s perspective. But this seems unlikely, as people would definitely demanded a game between Krum and Harry and told Harry about Krum practicing.
      2. Rowling didn’t want to write more Quidditch and/or it was cut from the book as it was already quite long.
      3. He might have made a deal with his managers from the pro team he plays with, that he will step down for one season to participate in the tournament.

      • DoraNympha

        Thanks for clearing that up! Shame Jo didn’t really like writing Quidditch.

        But also… can you imagine… if Wood had still been at Hogwarts when Krum was there… Krum’s right there but no Quidditch matches because of the stupid Tournament…? Wood would not have been able to handle it for a minute. Perfect timing to have graduated lol.

        • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

          Wood would have wet himself…lol 😀

        • travellinginabluebox

          Absolutely agree. They could have easily made some pick-up games on a weekend. No need to have an official game to get Harry and Krum on a broom and trying to defeat the other on the hunt for the snitch. Would have also been a good way to have some fun with the other schools as well.

  • SpinnersEnd

    If we’re telling funny retainer stories, I left mine in a bathroom in Michigan once while on vacation with my family. My parents had to back three hours to get it… I was not their favorite that day.

  • SpinnersEnd

    As a dancer of partnered dances, most men learn to lead and most women learn to follow. Learning to do the opposite role is *really* hard, even for people who do this all the time, and I really doubt that these teens are ballroom dancing on a regular basis. So, I kind of get why there were no same-sex couples dancing for the ballroom bit.

    But I would really like to think that Hogwarts has a Ballroom Dancing Club. Arts in education!

    • There is this, though. 😉

      • SpinnersEnd

        I love every second of that!

  • DoraNympha

    Ever since this book came out it’s been driving me crazy who George went with or wanted to go with, you know. There’s a somewhat weird comment from Fred in The Unexpected Task chapter when they’re asking for Pig in the common room, I’ll quote it:

    “Ron, can we borrow Pigwidgeon?” George asked.
    “No, he’s off delivering a letter,” said Ron. “Why?”
    “Because George wants to invite him to the ball,” said Fred sarcastically.
    “Because we want to send a letter, you stupid great prat,” said George.

    And then Ron’s nosey about the addressee and Fred asks out Angelina and we never find out who George went with but it’s safe to assume he didn’t want to go alone. Was there something weird about his choice that they’d discussed? I don’t just mean that he possibly wanted to ask Angelina but maybe he was rejected by someone whom he really wanted to go with or he was very picky or something, point is, I’ve always read way too much into this and it’s super annoying! Why don’t we know??? Why don’t we know their patronuses, why don’t we know their wands, why don’t we know whether they kept in contact with the rest of the quidditch team all throughout Deathly Hallows or just alerted them about the battle, why don’t we know these things? I miss them from so much of the story!

    • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      WE ARE SOUL SISTERS!! Yes yes to all of this! If you’re a patron, keep your eyes open for a piece of bonus content. You’ll enjoy my answer to the question posed 😉

    • JusticeforBookGinny

      I like to think that Fred and George had fun at the Yule Ball and both went with Angelina, both dancing with her and switching out at random times to see if she could guess who she was dancing with at a given time. It would have been a fun prank to play, as well as playing into their generally lighthearted, sarcastic attitude towards the fact that people often confuse them. I imagine it ending with her figuring it out and chasing them around (get it- cause she’s a Chaser? haha) but then all of them just having a blast together out on the dance floor. Also, considering George ends up with Angelina, it would make me feel a whole lot better with the idea that maybe both Fred and George liked her around this time, and this was how they approached the fact that they both had feelings for the same girl- being mischievous, not taking anything too seriously, but holding their bond as brothers as the most important part of their life.

      • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        Headcanon accepted!

      • frumpybutsupersmart

        Can I just say I adore your username? I hate how people who’ve only watched the movies think Ginny is boring.

        • JusticeforBookGinny

          I know, it is so frustrating!! She is one of my favorite characters in the book for her fire, wit, and courage, but was totally let down by how horribly boring and painfully awkward she came across in the movies. My best friend was the brilliant mind behind the username- both of us love Book Ginny and want justice for her character :)

          • frumpybutsupersmart

            Exactly! She didn’t even have a Funko pop until like last month! It’s so annoying and Ginny and Ron’s inaccurate characters are a major part of why I don’t enjoy the later movies as much.

      • DoraNympha

        Oh well I don’t know, I don’t really want to think they did that because it feels a little weird for me but it’s not at all implausible that Fred knew George liked Angelina if he did already, because Lee was also very vocal about it lol and so basically Angelina is #confirmed as the hottest character at Hogwarts. What’s Fleur or Cedric when there’s Angelina there? Also, we just see them go on one date but Jo says in the Year in the Life documentary that she’s Fred’s ex but… okay, when did that happen, when was that going on, for how long? I don’t get the feeling they were dating after that, does that qualify Fred as Angelina’s ex at all? I don’t know. But I’d really like to think Angelina and George got together years and years after it all. Otherwise, I feel super cringey about this WHOLE THING. (You might wonder how I watch Game of Thrones? Having a hard time doing it is how. I can’t even handle a shared date lol.) Oh and I don’t think there are many characters who can tell the twins apart always but Angelina’s one of them so I don’t think you could fool her!

        • JusticeforBookGinny

          That’s true, Jo does say that Angelina is Fred’s ex, and it does seem as though multiple people fancied her throughout the series- kind of like Ginny later on. This idea for me was a way to get past the cringing over Angelina and George getting together. Also, if they both fancied her, I always wondered how they worked out any jealousy and resentment that might have sprung up as a result of Fred getting a date with Angelina while George liked her as well. – the idea that they knew they both liked her and approached it in classic twin style makes it fun and lighthearted, despite the fact that Fred was the one who actually got the date with her. If George didn’t have another date to the Yule Ball, I like to imagine that Fred came up with a fun plan to include his brother in the excitement of the day by trying to prank Angelina or just engaging in general shenanigans maybe with her included in the fun. It was a way for me to imagine George and Fred valuing their bond as brothers as higher than the jealousy and resentments that can spring up over competing for the affections of a lady, as well as a way for them to acknowledge feelings for the same girl and handle it in a fairly mature way. Fred and George may be pranksters but they hold family in high esteem and were too close to let one or the other be left out of any sort of excitement. Plus the Yule Ball just would offer too many opportunities for mischief, so I like to think of them both being their and their dates being included in the fun, if they did have separate dates. Also, this way, when George and Angelina do get married, I imagined that they would both know that Fred smiled and whooped and hollered for them, happy that they found each other because, if he couldn’t be with Angelina, he was just glad his brother got the girl they both fancied way back at Hogwarts.

          • DoraNympha

            Wow, I think that’s an incredible way to think about it! Actually, you kind of reminded me of a fanfic I read years and years ago – it wasn’t anything special, just a short fic about how George went on to cope after the Battle but then the last second when, at a great old age, he dies, of all things he could say, Fred says to him in the limbo we saw as King’s Cross in the book: “So… Angelina?” so George pretty much facepalms into the afterlife.

    • Alison

      I always thought George went with Alicia or Katie Bell…keeping up with their Quidditch team friends. I believe Alicia was in their year as well, as Katie ends up being the only member of Harry’s original team left when he becomes captain sixth year.

  • Rosmerta’s Turquoise Shoes

    I wonder if the majority of students went into groups together, is not pairing off, apart from the champions and popular kids? At my daughter’s prom (thanks for sending that one over to the UK?!) apart from a few, most kids went in groups, my daughter included, just a group of friends (boys & girls) together.
    I suspect the school governors would have gone. As a parent, I would have missed the reception where we saw the kids in their finery before the prom itself. There’s always a lack of parent involvement at Hogwarts! No parent evenings, chats about children’s progress..

    • DoraNympha

      …and hospitalizations, Quidditch matches…

  • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

    Polite request to be directed to the Potter D&D game mentioned in the episode. Asking for all of my roleplaying friends aged 10 and up.

  • Minerva the Flufflepuff

    I have prosopagnosia (face blindness), so I really sympathise with Harry nor recognising Hermione with her hair done!
    This also means that, since my brain literally cannot picture Emma Watson’s face, Hermione’s transformation is much more impressive in my head 😀

  • frumpybutsupersmart

    In response to Karkaroff’s background – he does say something along the lines of ‘dear old Hogwarts, it’s good to be back’ when he turns up with his students. Going from this, I would say he was educated at Hogwarts rather than Durmstrang; it’s likely he left the UK to avoid the continued suspicion of the Ministry and the wrath of his fellow Death Eaters (many of whom he turned in to the Ministry in exchange for his freedom).

  • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

    In regard to the discussion about Hermione keeping her date and everything secret, I think this is a moment when Hermione’s lack of other female friends really shows. I totally get her keeping Krum as her date a secret from everyone, because she’s smart enough to want to avoid all the talk that would spread through the school about that, on top of Ron and Harry’s reactions. But then there’s the little things about getting dressed up that are part of the fun of going to a ball. Of course Ron and Harry aren’t going to be interested in what robes she wears or her plans for doing her hair, and they are big enough jerks sometimes that they wouldn’t do a good job even pretending to care, for her benefit. So poor Hermione, did she get to talk to anyone about that stuff? Ginny maybe? Or perhaps the girls in her dorm, but she and Lavender at least don’t really interact in a particularly friendly way. I just imagine the other girls having the whole “Look at the robes I got! Is this a good color for me? Oooo those shoes are perfect! How are you doing your hair?” moment, and poor Hermione not having anyone to share that excitement with. I feel bad for her, because even though Hermione doesn’t seem to care about that stuff in general, she does seem to care in this instance, given the lengths she goes to in order to have her Cinderella moment.

    • frumpybutsupersmart

      Unless I’m mistaken, Hermione did confide in Ginny that she was going to the ball with Krum – she tells Ron that Hermione definitely has a date, but she refuses to say who it is. So she probably did talk about “girly” ball stuff with Ginny, at least, if that’s even something they would do. She and Ginny both seem the type to eschew the more stereotypical aspects of femininity.

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        Yeah, you’re right about her telling Ginny. That’s what made me think of her as a possibility. I imagine if she and Ginny did have that sort of talk, it was probably much more subdued than that between say, Lavender and Parvati, if it happened at all. I’ve never gotten the impression that Ginny is particularly into the “girly” stuff either. I imagine she’s a great friend to talk to about boys being idiots (having 3 brothers) and dating advice (she’s the most experienced of the lot of them by the end) and the “emotional” stuff, but probably not the one you go to for fashion advice, just because that stuff would be boring to her.

        • frumpybutsupersmart

          Yeah … none of JKR’s central female characters would do any of that, would they? I can’t even see Fleur being obsessed with makeup or fashion – she would look great in anything, and what would she need makeup for anyway?

    • Feminist_Cat

      I totally buy Hermione wanting to keep her Yule Ball plans a secret. The film actually hints at this. Ron says something like, “why didn’t she tell us” and Harry responds with “because she knew we’d take the mickey out of her, if she did.” Although not explicitly said in the book, I think this is a pretty fair assessment.

      • RickJM

        Movies don’t count. That was just the filmakers wanting to Hermione front and center again.

  • DisKid

    I found the suggestion that JK Rowling was trying to steer away from the British stereotype, of them being too polite to speak their mind, very interesting probably because my best friend is British. She does not listen to this podcast, but if she did, she would have been the first person to yell “HA!” really loudly at hearing that. According to her, Americans are the more quiet ones when it comes to speaking their mind. Might be a little head scratching for some Americans to hear with what how the American media makes it look. However, according to her, if you have an American in the room and a British person in the room; the British person is more likely to say something if they think something wrong is going on. The American is much more likely to keep quiet and let it go. I can totally believe her because this actually causes a cultural difference problem for her in the states. With her always being the first to speak her mind, people often interpret that to be her butting into somebody else’s business, her trying to undermine them, or just flat out being rude. JK Rowling is also, as we have seen, somebody who will always speak their mind and probably doesn’t understand the stereotype about British people being too polite to speak up any more than my best friend does lol. I never thought about it til now, but I think Michael discovered a motive behind some of JK Rowling’s writing!

  • Lisa

    Not trying to start a shipping war but after this chapter it became quite obvious to me that Ron and Hermione were going to be a pair. Not only Ron’s jealousy of Krum but also Harry’s lack of jealousy towards Hermione’s date sort of sinks the possibility of Harry/Hermione for me. Of course there were still three books to go so things could have changed but I think that for everyone who used to ship Harry/Hermione this chapter was definitely a thorn in the side. I definitely understand preferring Harry/Hermione over Ron/Hermione so I’m don’t have any issues with shipping Harmony per se. I just think the Romione hints in this chapter are pretty hard to explain away.

    • DoraNympha

      Same. And it’s not just this scene, but all the books. I would have been so disappointed in Harry/Hermione because that would say that even if Hermione’s brilliant in her own right, she’s still ultimately there to be the girl the hero gets. And in HP, gangs of folks go in fours the best: the founders, the Marauders, and then the trio+Ginny. If there had been even a tiny bit of love triangle, I’d have felt Hermione was the resident Smurfette to be passed around by the main male characters, a big no no no NO. That’s why it annoyed me to death that Yates decided to make this up in the films. How original… It would have overridden every cool trait Hermione has and reduced her to The Girl. People always want a ship that starts out as animousity or based on mutual teasing/bickering and turns into love. Ron and Hermione are that. Not pure-blood supremacist bullies in Slytherin and their targeted victims actually in deadly danger because of the harmful ideas they stand for – that kinda steps over a line for me is all. Needless to say, jsut my two cents but not trying to tell anyone what to ship and what not to! :X

    • SnapesManyButtons

      I agree. I didn’t see Harry offering to be tortured in Hermione’s place at Malfoy Manor. The way Ron ran around trying to get to her… it really tore at my heart. I only ever saw Harry and Hermione as like brother and sister in canon. Of course that’s what fan fiction is for, you can pair them with whichever character you want – whatever floats your boat.

    • Rosmerta’s Turquoise Shoes

      Yes totally agree. Never understood the Harry/Hermione ship but there were so many strong hints about the burgeoning relationship between Hermione and Ron, it makes much more sense for them to be together.
      Whilst I’m at it, can I just ask what’s with wizards getting married & having kids so young? Especially the quartet, after all they’ve been through… But Harry was 24 when he has James & Ginny only 22/23 Why so young? They live to 120-150+ for goodness sake! Any of you in your mid-20a with a family?!
      Maybe it’s ages talking, didn’t have my kids til my early 30s!!

      • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

        with such a long lifespan, magical people could choose to become parents later in life, as there is plenty of time. On the other hand, if everyone starts building their families before they turn 30, people get the chance to meet their great-grandchildren or even great-great-grandchildren and annoy said great-great-grandchildren’s parents by giving outdated advice and allowing everything the kids are not supposed to do.

      • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        Because it’s the oldest trope to ever trope to show the progeny of the main characters at the end of…oh, I dunno…EVERYTHING. It’s really tired IMO and needs to go away. Why can’t happy couples or happy adults be just as satisfying? Or just not include the Epilogue at all? I used to like the Epilogue but the more I think about it, the more I begin to dislike it. At the very least, she could have made it 30 years later or something more realistic. The majority of Gen Xers did not marry and have kids that young.

      • DoraNympha

        Well, it is like the old tales – it’s not wrapped up until they get married and live happily ever after…

        However, it’s not only unrealistic or unusual but HP is always super honest about death, grief, etc. so I don’t understand why it suddenly ends in a fairy tale epilogue where everyone’s paired off, married, with children, ridiculously young. Actually, another thing about all this bothers me more: everyone seems to be a carbon copy of the person they’re named after. Why? Why go in circles? Why not go forward, build a new world? I didn’t want Harry to go on having adventures, don’t get me wrong – as he said so, he had had enough trouble for a lifetime, poor kid – but I don’t see how the marriage+kids super young ending is a sufficient resolution. The way I read this, they put their kids on the train (so what?) and cracked a few of the same blood-status-issue jokes (seriously, Ron? did no one learn anything?).

        Also, Fleur+Bill, not to mention Tonks and Lupin just skipping the dating part altogether and jumping to marriage and pregnancy right away. Who does that? Seriously, whoever does that???

        The only couple I believe in 100%, who did right getting married presumably as soon as they could, are Molly and Arthur. They’re lovely, I’m not cynical about them. But about everyone else, I sure am. And this is coming from someone who’s just about to celebrate 10 years with a person one would call my high school sweetheart but oh god please don’t. And I have no intention to marry because from what I can see all around me is marriage spoils everything and it’s pointless unless for legal, practical reasons. I don’t see what protections the magical government grants to married couples that everyone’s so eager to get, otherwise marrying for romance is just too fairy tale-ish for me, sorry. Honestly, oddly, I never thought I would be but I’m one of those people still head over heels in love with their first real partner but I’m super sceptical about absolutely everything about the way Jo marries every kid off. When did Ginny even play Quidditch? She would have spent her best, strongest years pregnant. Did she go back after the time off or is this why she became a journalist?

        Where did I read (if I ever did) Jo saying Luna traveled around first so she had children a bit later than the others? If this is not my memory playing tricks on me, I’m more in support of that. She had important snorkack-seeking to do first! And I can only fathom George and Angelina together after years and years have passed. o.0

        • Emily

          I agree that everyone ending up with their “high school sweetheart” in the end is unrealistic, but I justify this to myself by taking into consideration the fact that Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny all lived through an intense war and had shared experiences that it might have been hard for others to understand. I think of it as a sort of intensified version of the mountain troll effect: you can’t fight one together without becoming friends, just like you can’t defeat the greatest dark wizard of all time without falling in love with the people who helped take him down alongside you. That may be a thin justification, but I’m sticking to it.

          You’re not crazy about the Luna thing, JKR said as much in the Bloomsbury Live Chat in 2007 right after Deathly Hallows came out:

          J.K. Rowling: Luna became a very famous wizarding naturalist who discovered and classified many new species of animals (though, alas, she never did find a Crumple-Horned Snorkack and had, finally, to accept that her father might have made that one up).

          J.K. Rowling: She ended up marrying (rather later than Harry & co) a fellow naturalist and grandson of the great Newt Scamander (Rolf)!

      • Alison

        As someone who comes from a community culture that marries young generally (I’ve mentioned on the show before that I’m LDS/Mormon, so make all the large family jokes you want, haha), this never seemed odd to me. I guess I’ve just grown up with the idea that when you know who you want to spend your life with, you know, and you might as well not put off marriage and family and all that comes with it. Ginny came from a big family and all Harry ever really wanted was a family, so their choice to have their kids relatively young doesn’t strike me as odd; they wanted to start their own family, together, and why wait? Ron and Hermione having the two and a bit later makes sense as well, as it took them longer to figure it out and I’m sure Hermione came up with a long term plan that had everything down to the fine details.
        And maybe I’m just a hopeless romantic, but I always love when stories end with these happily ever after kinds of things, with people finding love, haha. It just makes me happy.

        • Emily

          Same! The epilogue may not have been the most realistic way for the story to end, but after the emotional rollercoaster that is Deathly Hallows, and with the years and years of dedication to Harry that preceded that epilogue, it was exactly how I needed the story to end: happy, a little sappy, and all wrapped up with a bow. I don’t know if I would have been able to handle it if the ending was anything other than unambiguously happy.

      • RickJM

        Well I could see Harry wanting to start a family early. Ron and Hermione are 26/25 which isn’t that young.

      • Emily

        I can actually see “the quartet” as you called them wanting to settle down young BECAUSE of all they’ve been through, rather than in spite of it. After growing up in a world of uncertainty and danger, I think it’s plausible that these characters would crave normalcy more than anything, and be eager to settle into “normal” lives. Not that marriage and babies is or should be the default for anyone, but if that’s what this group ultimately wanted for themselves, I can see them settling down sooner rather than later just for the stability that would have come with that. Lily and James were only 20 when Harry was born, so perhaps in the wizarding world this is not so unusual, especially considering there are no wizard universities per JKR. If you’re settled into your career more quickly, I can see starting a family sooner.

    • Feminist_Cat

      I never jumped on the Harry/Hermione ship either. What’s more, I’ve read people were picking up on Ron/Hermione as early as Book 3, and Alfonso Cuaron definitely played that up in the film adaptation. You see the “monster in Harry’s stomach” in HBP, and there just never was that intense emotion over Hermione as there was with Ginny.

  • frumpybutsupersmart

    Just wanted to say, that as a person with acne, the way Eloise Midgen is treated in the series has always slightly irritated me. In particular, Ron refusing to ask her out despite her being “really nice” rubs me the wrong way. It’s not a huge deal or anything, it’s just vaguely annoying.

    • Lisa

      Ron’s always struck me as the kind of guy who is average looking at best but expects his dates to be gorgeous. There are plenty of dudes like that in real life as well.

      • frumpybutsupersmart

        Yeah, he was definitely a bit like that at fourteen. At least he grew out of it :)

      • RickJM

        Then why is he attracted to Hermione? Do average looking girls not want to date the hot guy?

        • Lisa

          He grows out of it, I think. But his comments about Tonks vs Fleur show that he is quite shallow. I’m sure girls want to date the hot guy too but it’s much more common for women to “settle” for average looking or even ugly guys than the other way around. I can’t think of one hot celebrity dude who’s dating an ugly girl. It’s just one of the gender double standards I guess.

    • Feminist_Cat

      Me, too, FBSS. God forbid someone have a blemish. Must be really nice for you, Ron.

      At least his freckles get made fun of by that painting in St. Mungo’s in the next book 😀

      • RickJM

        What about Harry?

        • frumpybutsupersmart

          What do you mean? Harry never says a word about Eloise Midgen, she’s always being talked about by other characters.

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      Yeah, I completely agree with you. I gotta say, Ron deserves every bit of misery he experiences at the Yule ball. He brought it all on himself.

      • RickJM

        So he was responsible for those hiddeous looking robes? Those were the start of his misery.

        • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

          It isn’t his fault his mom bought him hideous robes of course, but I feel like after 4 years of magic lessons he probably should have been able to fix them up a bit better. If he hadn’t been so rude to Hermione, he probably could have gotten her to help with them at the very least.

    • RickJM

      What about the fact Harry didn’t want to ask her either? Do certain complaints only apply to Ron?

      • frumpybutsupersmart

        Well, my comment wasn’t about Hermione at all, but I do think Ron behaved much worse than Harry did. Harry didn’t not want to ask Hermione – the first time it’s brought up that Hermione might go with one of the boys, she immediately says she’s already going with someone, so Harry drops it (Ron is the one who keeps pestering her about who she was going with – Harry doesn’t ask her once). So yeah, some complaints do only apply to Ron, because Harry behaved like a normal human while Ron behaved like an insecure fourteen-year-old with feelings he didn’t know what to do with. I don’t want to judge Ron too harshly because being young and in love sucks (so I’m told), but all the same, he acted like a total butthead.

  • Feminist_Cat

    I have more of a movie gripe, but it was mentioned in the discussion, so I’m gonna go with it. It’s always bothered me that Beauxbaton and Durmstrang were depicted as all girls/all boys schools. However, I think I finally found a reason for it, at least the Beauxbaton bit. The whole Veela angle and Fleur’s overall appeal is kind of erased from the movie. So, in the absence of that plot line, the filmmakers decided to kind of create a sex appeal surrounding the Beauxbaton students, emphasizing their femininity. It’s similar to how David Tennant worked in that weird tongue thing to hint (see: beat you over the head) at his true identity. Goblet of Fire, the film, takes a lot of annoying shortcuts but makes up for it a little bit by being visually stunning.

  • Hermione X Krum > Hermione X Ron

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      I do really want to know more about what Krum and Hermione talked about in their letters to eachother.

  • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

    Happy September 1st everybody! Back to Hogwarts we go! Can’t wait to see Michael (and the rest of the gang) at the platform tonight!

    • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      I can’t believe I didn’t get a chance to meet you in person! *cries*

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        Omg, I was kicking myself because I realized after seeing you tagged in some pics that I’d walked by you probably 10 times without recognizing you! Although, I’d been sitting at dinner for a few minutes before realizing Rosie was right next to me, too. I was just in shock and awe all night I think lol. And the time just seemed to fly by. I loved your patronus outfit though, the light up skirt was awesome!

        • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

          I totally get it – it was nearly impossible to know who was who – especially in the dark! :) And I was in total shock and awe too. The night FLEW by!! So much fun! I’m so glad you liked my outfit 😀 I couldn’t believe how many compliments I got on that skirt! Shout out to Think Geek! lol

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            Oh and I just noticed today you’re in one of the video clips I took haha I just happened to be recording the Hogwarts Express as you were getting off. You can even see how I got distracted by the pretty lights and turned the camera to follow you for a sec lol. When I get around to posting my pics I’ll have to tag you.

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            Teehee!!! Please do! 😀

  • Phat Albus

    I completely and totally admit this has nothing to do with the episode at hand….but I feel like I should write something here to mark the fact that today is the day the Epilogue happened/the opening scene of the play happened and yes I will be heading to King’s Cross Station after work!

  • DisKid

    September 1st is here! Can’t wait to see all of you who are going to Mugglenet Live! As a reminder for those who want to find me: I’ll be in a yellow Hufflepuff Quidditch Captain t-shirt and a backwards camouflage hat. I will be at the park before Mugglenet Live starts as I can’t go to Universal and not ride the Mummy 😉 See you guys there!

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      I’ll keep an eye out for you! Just a few hours now, Eeeee!

    • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      It was so great to meet you DisKid!! 😀

      • DisKid

        It was great to meet you as well! Btw, your finger crossing worked. I got the job! 😀

        • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

          SQUEE!!! Congrats!! 😀

    • Alison

      I’m so sad I missed so many of you! But then, I was (at some points, quite literally) running around all night (that blue blur you might have seen chasing after Luke Youngblood from Ollivander’s to Weasley’s? It was me. He started running and I was like “okay, we’re doing this then”). Glad to hear you all had a good time though!

      • DisKid

        Awww I’m sorry I didn’t get to personally meet you! Probably did see you at some point though. If you saw a yellow blur (with a camouflage hat) going back and forth back and forth on Escape from Gringotts that was me! 😀 Then I got ice cream afterwards and met Ellie Darcie-Alden (who I’ll just say is awesome!) Definitely great time :)

        Did you get any of Michael’s wizard cards? I got the first one of Wendelin the Weird hehe. I also brought a chocolate frog and it happened to have a Helga Hufflepuff card. It was Hufflepuff day for me!

        • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

          My chocolate frog box had Helga too. I was keeping an eye out for you, but I missed ya :( and Alison. I got one of Michael’s wizard cards though too- Cyprian Youdle, only Quidditch ref to die in a match. I love it, and Michael’s roommate is a saint for helping him make all those!

    • Lisa

      This is one of those times when I hate living in Europe and missing all the amazing fan events in the US. I saw some pics on twitter and I was so jealous, gah! I did go to Mugglenet live in London a few years ago but it wasn’t the same thing.

  • Yes, that’s right. We never get any proof that James’ behavior ever changed. We do get proof that James is loaded. There is no other conclusion we can draw other than Lily is a gold digger.

    • … so Harry is basically Suri Cruise?

    • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      I couldn’t help but give you that shout out 😀

  • I’m so late to listening to the episode but I have to say-

    No wait, I mean shout-

    WHERE IS ALL THE KRUM LOVE?!?

    Sure, Hermione got a moment to shine, but who is the one that gave her that moment? That’s right, the big-shot celebrity foreign guy, KRUM! Krum had ladies fawning over him all over the place and yet he had his eyes on Hermione! Emma Watson is a good looking lady, but Hermione is not written to be very good looking. Yet Krum wanted HER! He wasn’t attracted to her looks. He liked to watch her read. He admired her smarts, her individuality. What a guy.

    But it also gets a bit weird to. Isn’t he 18 while Hermione is 14? If there were some happy times being had in the bushes, was this pairing ok?

    Again, Krum X Hermione > Ron X Hermione

    • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      Good point! Krum definitely deserves some love (and pity, as Hermione basically used him).

      • Feminist_Cat

        Oh, I don’t know about Hermione using him necessarily. Sure, she didn’t get asked out by the person she wanted and she wasn’t exactly head-over-heels for Krum, but I think she accepted his invitation genuinely. Hermione spends so much time as Harry’s “frumpy but super smart” best friend (see what I did there?), that she is well within her right to have a little bit of fun! Not to mention, they do correspond when he leaves, and I have to imagine she made it quite clear she only wanted to be friends. What’s more, we don’t really take Krum’s intentions into account here.

        In Deathly Hallows, we see Krum asking about Hermione straight away. We call Ron and Harry dense when it comes to matters of the heart, but is it possible that Hermione missed that Krum was hot for her? She might have had Ron Wealsey blinders up and failed to notice that while her motives were purely platonic, Krum’s might not have been.

        Basically, I don’t think Hermione really led him on. I think it’s quite possible that she kind of said, “You’re very nice, and I like being your friend, but no thank you” and he just kept pushing and/or ignored her.

        • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

          I agree — she used Cormac in HBP, but not Krum. I think HBP shows her in a more manipulative light than this chapter, where I think she’s genuinely trying to embrace the moment and let it lead where it may in terms of how Ron responds.

        • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

          Don’t forget how she ignores Krum after the second task and is only focused on Harry and Ron, even though the task proved she was the most important person to Krum. She may have been a bit dense about his feelings towards her before that task, but not after. Though I don’t remember her leading him on after that chapter, so perhaps you’re right that she let him know straight away that her feelings were not the same as his after that task. I’m rereading GOF now, so I’ll look for signs :) But I agree that it’s not the same as how she used Cormac in HBP.

    • frumpybutsupersmart

      Yes! Krum is an awesome person and not enough people talk about that!! I never could ship anything but Ron x Hermione, though 😛

      • Ron x Hermione will never work for me. Hermione is such a beautifully intellectual woman, so why Ron? Ron is a great, loyal-ish guy (he has his deserter moments) but he can’t challenge Hermione’s intellect. I just don’t really see moments in the text where Ron does something that Hermione admires or likes about him. The text supports an attraction between the two spanning across most of the books, but the reason for that attractions is never very apparent!

        • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

          Love is rarely logical 😉

          • frumpybutsupersmart

            Agreed. I get where you’re coming from, Wheezy, but to me, Hermione is too much in her own head and if she ended up with someone as brainy and studious as her (like Percy, but not Percy), she would end up even more tightly wound. She needs someone to balance her out, to teach her to take a break sometimes. Goodness knows she challenges herself enough!

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            True. And there are times in the books where he surprises her with glimpses of maturity and growth (wanting to save the House Elves at the end, recognizing that Harry didn’t put his name in the GOF, his sacrificial chess game…I’m sure there are others I’m not thinking of right now).