Podcast Question of the Week – Episode 137

In this week’s chapter, we get a brief, but rather entertaining Quidditch Match. During that match, we get perhaps the most aloof Quidditch commentator Hogwarts has ever seen.

This chapter is a total light relief filler, and as always the best light moments come from Luna. How exactly did she get the job of commentator at the Quidditch match? What are the requirements for the role and who else did McGonagall try first before Luna (who was most likely her last resort)?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or send us an AudioBoom using the little green button on the right!

  • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

    I’d say having a connection to journalism will help with the job of sports commentator. In Luna’s case her specific experience with magazine publishing is maybe not what inspires her during her commenting.

    After Ginny crashed into Zacharias Smith to punish him for his mean comments McGonagall possibly thought it would be a good idea to choose a person who is on good terms with Ginny. It had to be someone from Slytherin or Ravenclaw, and I can’t think of someone in Slytherin who Ginny has a connection with. So Luna was a reasonable choice. There may have been kids who would have done a better job at focusing on the game, but Luna was really funny.

  • Honeydukes Empire

    What if Luna volunteered to be commentator and McGonagall just couldn’t bring herself to turn her down?

    • I was about to say this. For some reason most of the teenagers in the Potter series are the type that would be reluctant to volunteer for such a job. Luna very easily could have simply volunteered and have been the only volunteer.

  • ISeeThestrals

    I wouldn’t know who else she would’ve tried before Luna, but I would expect
    they’d all done a poor job in commentating for Luna to be able to get it. I think
    she might have also come up to McGonagall upon seeing her disappointment
    in those that have tried out, and being the kind person that she is, offered to
    take the job. Perhaps a selling point would be Luna stating her father is editor
    of the Quibbler. And with little time to spare, McGonagall decided to give her
    a chance, feeling she was better than nothing. The requirements would of
    course be someone who knows the game of Quidditch, knows the names of
    the players, and has a strong, clear speaking voice that draws interest. See
    how well Luna fits the job.

  • I was thinking that maybe no one wanted to be a commentator after Lee Jordan since he was so great?

    Okay, joking a little bit. Actually I think that there were really few people wanting the job. Maybe McGonagall chose Luna because she thought that Luna would bring something new and fresh to commenting, which she definitely did.

  • SnapesManyButtons

    I think McGonagall was looking for someone who wouldn’t be biased toward one team or the other and in a fit of desperation grabbed Luna, thinking she had a way of liking everyone and telling it as it is regardless of House affiliation. What she forgot was that Luna also had a way of wandering down her own path and not really caring what anyone around her was interested in. (Although I think the real answer is that Rowling per her in here for a bit of humor and to lighten things up in a book that would soon be getting pretty dark.)

    • Yo Rufus On Fire

      I agree with you on why Rowling put her in there as commentator. I mean, come on, Luna being a sports commentator?? Hilarious!!!

  • Huffleduck

    I think Luna could have been the only one who signed up to be a commentator. I’m not much of a sports fan so personally, having to pay attention to every game would give me a headache and be flat out boring.

  • Perhaps it may have gone something like this … McGonagall posts a flyer on the notice board in each common room announcing that anyone interested in being the quidditch commentator and “taking the job seriously!!!” should submit their name to a box outside her office door by a week before the upcoming match. Many students make note of the flyer but only a few are confident enough or well enough acquainted with quidditch to submit their name. In the Ravenclaw common room one evening, a girl named Lucy Steele spots Luna Lovegood reading McGonagall’s flyer and smiling as she swipes at it’s parchment surface. A mischievous smile emerges on Lucy’s face. For she is the person responsible for a great deal of Luna’s missing things at the end of every term. Spying Luna’s pleasure at the possibility of announcing the match but knowing that Luna likely wouldn’t enter her own name, Lucy decides to play a great prank, for which she will be able to take all the credit when her Ravenclaw friends watch Luna make a fool of herself in front of the whole school. By Lucy’s hand, Luna’s name is written on a piece of parchment, with a drawing of a dancing radish for good measure and carefully placed in the box outside McGonagall’s door with no onlookers about.
    Several days later, McGonagall is sitting in her office staring down at a list of the five students who submitted their names to be quidditch commentator. Four have been crossed out … At the top of the list, Anthony Goldstein was a great prospect but unwittingly drank a cup of pumpkin juice that had been spiked with a Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes product and was now in the hospital wing awaiting Madame Pomfrey’s cure. Next, Jeremy Blackburn of Slytherin would have done quite well if only he could have passed his divination examination without setting Firenze’s tail on fire. Suffice it to say, Jeremy was no longer available due to his long term detention stint. In the middle of the pack was Ernie McMillan of Hufflepuff. A reasonable choice but Professor Sprout had hurried up to her in the staff room that evening in a dither saying that she couldn’t spare Ernie during the match as he is the vice-president of the Vegetable Club and thus his duties as organizer of the ongoing pumpkin enlargement program in the experimental vegetable patches cannot be shirked for quidditch. McGonagall had been reluctant to reconsider the second to last name on the list, Seamus Finnagan. He likely would provide lively and even insightful commentary but McGonagall had decided a pretty solid NO after recalling the ash heap her classroom podium had become after Mr. Finnagin had tried to transfigure that flaming newt into a Balaklava. She wanted to keep the commentator’s box and all the wooden stands around the pitch as far away from Seamus’s proclivities of pyrotechnics as possible. McGonagall sighed as she eyed the only remaining name on the list: Luna Lovegood. How would this work out? What outlandish theories would Miss Lovegood spout off about? Would we all be visited by the krumple-horned snorkack just by having listened to her for a long period of time? Then the picture of Luna in her roaring Lion hat swam into McGonagall’s mind’s eye and she thought, perhaps it won’t be too bad and Luna will be enthusiastic. Besides, what other choice was there? Zacharias Smith? That was not happening again!!
    McGonagall asked Luna to stop by her office the day before the match to give her the news. Luna seemed quite surprised by her appointment as commentator but took it in her stride and asked whether she might be able to take a few minutes to discuss the dangers of knargles before the match got underway so as to help the students and staff avoid their effects so they could fully enjoy the competition without brain fuzziness. McGonagall declined and instructed her to stick to the match action.
    Lucy had spied Luna entering McGonagall’s office and was now sitting in the chair right in front of the common room entrance waiting for Luna to return. Just as Luna was walking in, Lucy started laughing to herself. Luna removed her Spector-specs and looked in her direction. She smiled but was about to walk away when Lucy laughed louder, pulled a face and said, “Hope you enjoy your humiliation!” Luna looked confused in her placid, big eyed way, cocked her head to the side, and said, “The knargles got you?” Lucy scoffed and moved forward. “Nervous are you?” Said Lucy looking smug. Luna moved back and said, “I would rather avoid knargles transfer right now, I’ve got homework to do.” ” Stop blathering about knargles!” Shouted Lucy. “Guess who put your name in for commentator!” Lucy said with arrogance. “I saw you looking at the flyer. You won’t last ten minutes up there. And we’re all gonna watch you squirm! I can’t wait to see who’s gonna fly into you on accident!!” Luna still looked serenely back at Lucy, even after she wiped a speckle of spit that had landed on her forehead during Lucy’s rant. ” Oh the flyer! Yes, I was inspecting it for phantom doxy footprints and sure enough, there were both male and female tracks leading in opposite directions as they always do!! Did you notice them too?” Luna finished. Lucy scoffed again but less heartily this time. As Lucy just stared and did not answer, Luna surmised that their conversation was over and so started towards the stairwell to her dormitory. In a last ditch attempt to rattle Luna, Lucy stuck her foot out to trip Luna and said “Good Luck. NOT!” But it came out sounding more like “Good Luck SNOT!” Luna stubbled only slightly and did a little pirouette to recover her balance, turing to Lucy and asking, “So I see you have read my father’s new article about the benefits of interpersonal nasal congestion discussion for the repopulation of the amber encrusted micro-boogie colonies!” Luna smiled broadly. “He will be so pleased to hear it!” As Luna walked away, Lucy eyed the stupid radish earrings bouncing off Luna’s lobes thinking, ” What do I have to do to get her to notice me?”

    • Casey L.

      Even if it’s the only response read, I think listeners need to hear this in all it’s glory!

      • Cheers! I don’t know what came over me. I typed that all out on my phone with eyelids drooping before I went to bed. I was just gonna post a few lines and it became a narrative! I got to slip in a Jane Austen reference too!! Lucy Steele is a character from Sense and Sensibility. I thought it was appropriate as Lucy is a schemer in S&S but really just wants to be loved.

        • The 4th Hallow

          Awesome Awesome Awesome! Can’t believe you typed all of that on your phone…Wow

        • Casey L.

          Even more impressive, then!

    • The 4th Hallow

      Memo to the HOSTS!! I know this is much longer than what you would normally read on the show but this just HAS to be read!! Ditto Casey L. – this last episode was too short for all of us anyway so go a little long with the next one – nobody will complain :-)

    • Minerva’s tartan biscuit tin

      This is so brilliant, I refuse to accept any other explanation!

      • I’m so glad you commented!! Your username inspired that bit at the end of McGonagall’s evening of decision!!

        • Minerva’s tartan biscuit tin

          Thank you! When I read that part I hoped it might have been an unconscious decision. You just made me even more happy than I already was after reading your theory!

    • ISeeThestrals

      Fanfiction! lol
      You put a lot of thought into this

  • Yo Rufus On Fire

    While Lee Jordan was a very interesting commentator, I’m not sure that McGonagall thought he was the best in her eyes. He was constantly being yelled at by her for being inappropriate and bashing the other teams. So I think she went looking for someone else who might not be as inappropriate. I also think McGonagall was looking for someone who was slightly less bias too. And while Luna does support Gryffindor I do believe that put in that situation what she would be unbiased.

    I think that McGonagall might have considered Seamus Finnegan before possibly asking Luna, but because Seamus was pissed about Dean playing on the team when he couldn’t. I think he would be a very depressing commentator, or just a very pissed commentator.

    McGonagall might have considered one of the Patil twins, but offering to one and not the other may have created a riff between the twins. They might not be super interested in the game either. However, if both of them commentated it might have been very funny. One could be one team, and the other could be the other team.

  • PottyLurvesLoony

    I’m actually wondering why Luna would even WANT to be the commentator. It seems like something that would appeal to the jock or outgoing types like Lee Jordan, or possibly whatever the Hogwarts version of a theatre nerd is. (And I use that term lovingly as a theatre nerd myself.) Luna clearly wants/needs some friends at Hogwarts, but I wouldn’t think she’s looking for a shot at the spotlight that sports commentating surely is. Instead, I think McGonagall perhaps mentioned she was looking for a commentator, and Luna thought it would help her get invited to a post-match party. So, to apply for the job, Luna surely created the wizarding equivalent of a poster board collage with huge illustrations of herself wearing her Gryffindor headdress, scenes of Quidditch players, and added hand calligraphy-ed quotes about how much she would love the job. Obviously, McGonagall didn’t have a lot of other choices, and decided she should give an opportunity to a student who needed a little boost in the Hogwarts social standing.

  • MinervaLupin

    Dumbledore does say that those who want to be a commentator, they had to give their names to their Head of House during the Welcoming Feast. I think that the names are passed on to either Madam Hooch or Professor McGonagall (although I feel McGonagall is responsible for commentators). Then, the logic thing to do is for each person who gave their names to pass an audition for the part and what better way for that than commentating a real match so, of course, some knowledge of Quidditch would be required. Once this is done, Professor McGonagall chooses the one that was the best in their auditions and that person gets the position as a permanent thing.

    This process would make sense since we first see Smith from Hufflepuff tryout for the spot and then we see Luna in her audition. I am sure there were other people who tired out for commentating, at least that is what I assumed while reading. It does work because McGonagall would give everyone who gave their names their fair chance at the job, even if they are not qualified at commentating, as Luna showed in her audition, and why Smith only did one match.

    • Yo Rufus On Fire

      I really like that idea of McGonagall giving them all try-outs. That really makes a lot of sense! Though…. I do wonder how Lee Jordan did in his try-outs because he’s so inappropriate when he was commentating. How do you think he was able to get the job as commentator?

      • MinervaLupin

        He either was the only one who gave his name or, the scarier option, is that he was the best in his audition for the post lol
        Aside from the bias comments, I personally did not think Lee Jordan was that bad a commentator. Maybe he developed the inappropriateness with the years of seeing Slytherin always winning the cup every year

        • Yo Rufus On Fire

          Ha! Yeah I thought Lee Jordan was a great commentator.

          Do you think it is possible to have a commentator that is not a student? That would, hopefully, allow the commentator to be completely unbiased. But OMG, could you imagine if Filch commentated? Or, could it be possible for a teacher to commentate?

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            teachers commenting Quidditch:
            Slughorn: will only comment on Harry’s moves and every time someone scores and talk about the Holyhead Harpies in between

            Trelawney: will see and comment how and where the players are flying two minutes before they do that and confuse everyone

            Firenze: won’t be able to get up to the commentator booth

            Snape: will simply state players’ names and scores because Quidditch is so below him

            Sprout: will have trouble keeping up with the speed of the game and say “whoa!” a lot

            Flitwick: will squeak excitedly into the megaphone and be everyone’s favorite

            Sinistra: will use her telescope to see players close up and include their mimics into her commenting

            Burbage: will compare Quidditch to every muggle sport including balls or goals

            Vector: will constantly reassess each teams’ chance of winning by jumbling the numbers in his head

            Hagrid: will constantly forget to not just cheer for the Gryffindors

            McGonagall herself: will be on point and just in her comments, but not very entertaining for those who can’t understand her subtle sarcasm.

            why not invite former players? Oliver Wood can’t be too busy at Puddlemere United to spend a day at Hogwarts.

          • Yo Rufus On Fire

            OMG Yes. This is amazing. I love it!

          • Yo Rufus On Fire

            That would be awesome if they brought back Oliver Wood, but I think he would spend the whole time critiquing Harry’s captain skills, and the team’s overall performance. What if, they brought back Ludo Bagman to commentate?? I think that could be really interesting.

          • MinervaLupin

            Although that would give us an unbiased commentator, I think only students can tryout for the post. But then again, how can anyone be truly unbiased? Otherwise, there would be no point in Dumbledore announcing to the student body that those who want to be considered to give their names to their Head of House if the Staff were allowed to be commentators.

  • grangerdanger

    I think that McGonagall would choose Luna mainly for the reason that she is not biased to anyone. She is the type of person who can celebrate all the houses. I can’t see her liking Slytherin that much, but she would still be fair and honest with any commentary on the games. Like many others are saying, I bet she was one of the only ones, if not the only one, to sign up in the first place. I think she just enjoys celebrating the school in general and Quidditch is one of those activities that brings the entire school together. Luna has also shown the qualities of being observant and opinionated of the world around her and I think that would help her succeed in this role.

  • Wheresthewolf

    I think McGonagall picked Luna based on her unbiased opinions of others. And possible for her knack to say the truth before even thinking. While Luna may not get along with Slytherins she would still commend them for a formation or feint or play on the field that was well played by any team whether it be Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Slytherin, or Gryffindor.

  • NeverTickleASleepingRavenclaw

    I really hope that no one submitted their names to be commentator, and Dumbledore was walking down to the match, spotted Luna, and gave her the job. It just seems like something Dumbledore would do, and I certainly don’t think McGonagall would’ve picked Luna if she had any other choice.

    • ISeeThestrals

      That’s an interesting thought, although I can’t see Dumbledore being the one to assign commentator jobs. I would see it more as McGonagall telling him about the lack of people qualified for the job and Dumbledore noticed Luna and suggested her.

    • Casey L.

      I’d wondered if maybe Dumbledore picked the commentators, too. We know he has the final say on prefects and probably Head Boy and Head Girl, too. Could quidditch commentator be his choice, too?