Transcript – Episode 46

[Show music begins]

Caleb Graves: This is Episode 46 of Alohomora! for August 31, 2013.

[Show music continues]

Caleb: Hey everyone, welcome to our last episode of August for 2013. I’m Caleb Graves.

Eric Scull: I’m Eric Scull.

Kat Miller: And I’m Kat Miller. And our special fan guest today is somebody that we have read from many times on this show. Her name is Leah, but you all know her as Hufflepuffskein. Welcome!

Leah McCurdy: Thank you!

Eric: Leah, I’ve got to tell you, I love your name. And I love your username as well. Yeah, how did you come up with it? How did you come by it? I think it’s the perfect merger of something cute and also “puffskein.”

[Kat laughs]

Leah: Well, it was actually my second attempt. I made one, I told a friend about it, and she was like, “No, you’ve got to pick a different one.” So I was sorted into Hufflepuff on Pottermore and decided that I’m proud about that so I wanted it in my name, and I always loved the Puffskeins – they were always one of my favorite bits of Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, so I decided to put that together.

Eric: The rest, as they say, is history. Ha ha ha ha ha. Yes! Puff pride! I was also sorted into Hufflepuff on Pottermore. Much to Caleb’s chagrin because I still parade around in Gryffindor robes, but what are you going to do? What are you going to do? Caleb, you scared me, sir, when you said that this was our last episode. Of course you said then, of August. It really worried me because there was a last podcast episode recorded earlier in the week that I was on. And I just wanted to mention it here really quickly because it means a lot to me. MuggleCast, the Harry Potter podcast that started out on MuggleNet in 2005 has now ended. And I want to give a shout-out to any of the new listeners because I did kind of send them in this direction. Hello, new listeners! Although you will have already seen the posts on MuggleNet and all that for Alohomora!, if you’re coming over now per my recommendation, thank you and welcome!

Kat: Yes, welcome, very much. Are you doing okay since the end, Eric?

Eric: You know, I’m feeling…

Caleb: Do you need comfort?

Eric: I’m feeling okay at the moment. I’m feeling great actually because we got back into the books. I read me some Goblet. There was an exciting Quidditch scene. It really took my mind off things. So yeah, I’m actually… I’m really pleased. We’ve had good weather this week and, in spite of everything, I’m feeling good.

Kat: Good. Well, I’m glad. Congratulations on your eight years.

Eric: Thank you.

Kat: Of course.

Eric: Let’s get into our comments from last week’s discussion. So last week on Alohomora! we read the chapter “Bagman and Crouch” and here are just some comments that were submitted. The first one is from Justin Dunn. This was sent in via email. A very interesting idea. Justin says,

“We all know wizard[ing] photos and paintings can move and some can talk. So keeping this in mind, could you not have books that had talking pictures? Say you wanted to learn French: You could have a French language book that had a little French man or woman in a small picture on each page. Think of the possibilities that you could have if as you read through your French language book a little French person was there to help you with how to say the words and phrases and teach you correct inflection and grammar.”

Kat: That’s brilliant. [laughs]

Eric: [laughs] You know…

Caleb: Definitely for those visual learners, too.

Eric: Especially for the visual and auditory learners. I’m learning French at the moment, actually, using Rosetta Stone and that’s good but I think a book with interactive little French men and women, that would probably be a step better because I feel like I do want that human tutor to be like, “No, that’s wrong.”

Kat: I just think that’s… what a great compromise. That was a really good thought. I just… that was a good email.

Eric: Yeah, definitely worth including. The next one comes to us via voicemail.

[Audio]: Hi, guys! My name is Elizabeth. I was just listening to the episode Goblet of Fire: Chapter 5, and near the end of the episode they were talking about Bertha Jorkins going missing and I realized that there was a whole lot of foreshadowing that I’ve never caught before. Percy mentions that Barty Crouch is very concerned about Bertha Jorkins whereas Ludo Bagman is not. And Percy surmises it’s because he worked in her department at one time and he was quite fond of her, but I realized that it’s because he… Bertha figured out the secret about Barty Crouch Jr. and he’s terrified that if Bertha Jorkins is lost that someone has found her and found out his secret. That’s all. I don’t know if you guys mentioned it in an upcoming episode but I was kind of freaking out by figuring it out so I thought I’d share. Thanks!

Eric: Ah, this is clever. Good old Barty Crouch Sr. Slimy, old Barty Crouch Sr.. That’s all I have to say…

[Eric and Kat laugh]

Eric: … about this. It’s… I find his storyline in this book to be very unique. I don’t think Jo ever repeated something quite like his story.

Leah: Well, it just… it makes me think, sometimes authors will go back and write a different perspective on a story, and to see what he goes through throughout this whole ordeal, even back to when he was doing all the arrests and had to arrest his son and everything, seeing his perspective on this and what he goes through, with learning about his son and everything, that would sure be a different sort of story, but it would be really interesting.

Kat: Yeah. This is something that I had never picked up on before. I actually should have gone back and read the line over again to pick it up, but yeah, I agree. Barty Crouch is one of those people that is so weird but intriguing at the same time?

Eric: All I remember from the movie is, [as Crouch] “Hungarian Horntail. Ooh. Chinese Fireball. Ooh.” [laughs]

Kat: Yeah. [laughs] “Ooh.”

Caleb: [laughs] Oh my gosh. So excessive.

Eric: [as Crouch] “Ooh.” [back to normal voice] I cannot wait for…

Kat: I hated his death scene in the movie, but we’ll get there. We’ll get there.

Eric: Yeah. We… all in good time! So thank you, Elizabeth, for sending in that voicemail. Next comment comes from our Alohomora! main page, Mr.Cy5:

“Great episode as always. I believe Laura brought up wanting some form of magical transportation that has to do with water. Isn’t Durmstrang’s old ship some kind of magical sub/ship. I would imagine that’s probably how many of the wizard ships were set up back when ships were a big form of transport for them. For that matter, you also have Beauxbatons’ flying carriage as well coming later in the book.”

Kat: That’s true.

Eric: Yeah. Super-awesome floating pirate ship; that’d be pretty cool.

Caleb: As long as you don’t get wet in the process.

[Caleb, Eric, and Kat laugh]

Eric: Well…

Caleb: I’m just thinking of the way the ships go on Pirates of the Caribbean – the third one, At World’s End – how they’re going on different sides of the world and they’re all just soaking wet.

Kat: Yeah.

[Eric laughs]

Leah: So, how does it work, though? Does the ship travel under water, or does it Apparate from one body of water to the other?

Caleb: Well, when it comes to Hogwarts, it comes up like a whirlpool, doesn’t it?

Leah: Yeah. But does it go through some channel? Or does it just appear?

Kat: It’s a TARDIS.

Eric: Could it be like the… well, I don’t know how the TARDIS gets around…

Caleb: Me either.

Eric: Could it be a… well, basically like both: It has to be in water for it to work, but then it does teleport; it creates a whirlpool that’s like a vacuum through time and space… not time and space. Sorry, now I’m thinking of Doctor Who.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Sorry.

Caleb: Wow, we’re going so many places. [laughs]

Eric: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It just… it whirlpools up and creates sort of a channel, kind of like how the Knight Bus gets around – with a bang, it’s all of a sudden somewhere else – but it only works in water.

Leah: Yeah. I can’t imagine that you wouldn’t get wet. Well, I guess they could have some sort of charm that they put on it, like water-repelling or something.

Eric: Yeah, probably, because otherwise you’d drown. It wouldn’t be just getting wet; it would be not being able to breathe. So I do imagine…

Leah: Yeah, that’s the most important job: The guy who flips the waterproof on. [laughs]

Eric: Well, plus let’s talk about pressure and getting the bends and all that stuff, so I imagine it would be protective enchantments that prevent water from getting in. But it could be a creaky old ship; it doesn’t necessarily need to be sealed the way that steel submarines are, you know what I’m saying? Because of the magic, it would be able to keep people sustained on it. But definitely thinking ahead, so that was excellent. Thank you for sending that in, Mr.Cy5. Next comment comes from Martin Miggs – the Mad Muggle. Martin says,

“Brazillians are not excited for the World Cup!”

Guess this is in response to one of our comments from last week.

“A lot of money is spent on building those stadiums and the country currently has bigger issues like health care, education, etc. that are being swept under the rug. The president of FIFA has even questioned whether it was a good choice to pick Brazil to host the WC because of the anti-government protests going on. I don’t want to pile on Laura here (sorry, Laura) but I just thought it was important that we are all aware of everything happening in Brazil. Let’s just say FIFA make the MoM look like wonderful lovely organization.”

Caleb: Yikes.

Eric: Wow.

Leah: Well, there is…

Eric: So…

Leah: I mean, I know a lot of people who… because I work in Belize in the summertime, and there are a lot of people who have interesting comments about corruption and FIFA and all that, so it’s definitely a hot topic right now in any case.

Eric: Yeah. We did get some good comments on that on our topic on the forums, I saw. Just a shout-out to the Alohomora! forums.

[Kat laughs]

Eric: Our next comment comes from the forums – believe that or not, surprise there – from our good friend Saiyangirl. Saiyangirl says,

“Hey guys! Great episode as usual, but I was kind of disappointed that there was no mention of the ‘silk confection resembling a palace with peacocks tethered at the front.’ Did anyone else pick up on this? I strongly suspect that this would have to be the Malfoys’ tent and just find it hilarious that Lucius deems it necessary to parade his peacocks even at a campsite.”

Caleb: I did think about that when I read. I don’t know why I didn’t bring it up in the show. But when I thought about… when I read “peacocks” it definitely made me think of the Malfoys. But…

Kat: Do we think that the Malfoys are legitimately camping out?

Caleb: Right, that’s what I was thinking.

[Eric laughs]

Caleb: I don’t think they would be in a campsite, at least where most people can see them, so I figured it just had to be someone else who has an adoration for peacocks as well.

Kat: Yeah.

Eric: [laughs] Maybe it’s the people who the Malfoys bought their peacocks from.

Caleb: There you go. The peacock farmer.

Kat: The breeders. Yup.

[Eric laughs]

Kat: You think that’s illegal? I mean, it must not be.

Leah: Do peacocks have… in folklore, do peacocks have magical powers of any kind? Or are they…

Eric: They just have a lot of multicolored… a lot of highly decorated tail feathers.

Kat: Yeah, I don’t know anything about peacocks, so…

Eric: But I do imagine that they are revered in some cultures for their beauty.

Kat: Probably.

Caleb: Yeah.

Eric: But anyway, there are more comments here also from… still from Saiyangirl:

“Regarding the Muggle owners of the campsite, I actually always thought it was a nice gesture of the MoM to keep them on; to me it suggests that they still consider the ethical implications of basically making a Muggle lose his job or deny access to it and its subsequent funds for a prolonged period. The ethical implications of all the memory charms are worrisome, though.”

Caleb: That’s a really good point. I hadn’t really thought of it that way.

Eric: Yeah.

Leah: To be honest, I just sort of see it as the Ministry being lazy.

Eric: Lazy? So…

Leah: Yeah.

Kat: Yeah.

Caleb: Well, I mean, I think it still comes back to what we talked about last week, that they should have found a place where this wouldn’t have been a problem.

Kat: Yeah.

Eric: Well, it’s odd because there are… what, only two? Is it a man and his wife? Or is it his daughter as well?

Kat: I think there [are] kids, right?

Eric: There [are] kids?

Caleb: Yeah, I think there [are] two kids, maybe.

Eric: It’s still a question of a handful of Muggles. Easily dealt with, really; you can reassign their identity and send them away completely, but they didn’t. Instead they have all these memory wizards running around trying to fix them all the time, ten times a day. But why don’t they just get rid of them? Where is this… I can see what Saiyangirl is saying. There’s some kind of ethical issue that’s making them still keep the Muggles on.

Kat: Yeah, I don’t buy that because we’ve definitely come to the conclusion many times that wizards are not ethical. They don’t care about that stuff.

Eric: Even Fudge has to go over and tell the Prime Minister what’s going on certain times, so I do think… well, I do disagree, but that’s okay. We’re moving on. This is still from Saiyangirl:

“About the tents themselves; I always figured they’d seem like normal tents, even when going inside, until the moment they’re completely set-up, which is when the Undetectable Expansion Charm kicks in. Kat: the spell is most likely to be ‘Gallifreyo Tardisio!’ Bigger on the inside :P”

Kat: Nice, very good.

[Eric applauds]

Kat: Very good spell invention there. I like that.

[Eric laughs]

Kat: Shout-out to the Doctor Who.

Caleb: I was like, “I don’t get it.”

Eric: Yeah.

Kat: Oh.

Caleb: But…

Kat: Gallifrey is the planet that the Doctor is from and the TARDIS…

Caleb: Right.

Eric: Is that that blue…

Kat: Police box.

Caleb: Police box?

Eric: Oh. Okay, we were talking about…

Kat: “Time And Relative Dimension In Space.”

Caleb: All right. Well, that wraps up comments from our main points last week, but we do have some really great responses to the Question of the Week that Kat came up with. And as a reminder, the question asks,

“We learn that Mr. Roberts, the Muggle at the Quidditch World Cup campground, needs a memory charm ‘ten times a day to be happy’. What effects do we think that the repeated Oblivation has on him? Is it more or less severe because he is a Muggle? And why does his memory seem to be creeping back in?”

So, going through most of the comments, pretty much there was an agreement that it’s not anymore severe because he is a Muggle, which I was kind of surprised at. I thought more people would take the other side and it would be split. But the first comment we get is from Cassandra1447, which says… this continues a longer comment:

“… believe that the repeated Memory Charms are probably doing a fair bit of damage to Mr. Roberts short-term memory. While a single Memory Charm might not cause lingering damage, I think ten a day over a period of weeks certainly would. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has memory-related mental issues later in life. Brains can be quite fragile and, regardless of if he is a Muggle or a Wizard, such repeated tampering must not be good for him.

As to why his memory keeps coming back, I think there are two main reasons. The first is simply that he keeps seeing weird things happen. So he might be made to forget one weird thing only to see another weird thing thirty minutes later and then needs another Memory Charm. The other reason is that memories are highly interconnected. It would be very hard to remove or alter his memories just enough to forget all the wizarding stuff without making him forget everything else surrounding them.”

Leah: Yeah, but we need to actually think about the fact that the person who is doing the Memory Charm has to know the memory they want to access and force out or alter. So it’s pinpointing something, rather than saying “Let’s wipe the whole memory itself.” So I never really thought about this sort of mechanics of that.

Kat: I don’t think that’s true, though. Because if you’re trying to break into somebody’s memory, you don’t know what you’re trying to get from them.

Leah: Well, I would imagine that the Ministry wizards would know that Mr. Roberts saw somebody Apparate or something. That’s what they have to target. Otherwise, how would they make sure they got it?

Kat: No, I think that’s true in this case. I’m just not sure that’s always true.

Caleb: Yeah, I was going to say. I agree that this comment made me think a lot more about the mechanics of the Memory Charm, which I hadn’t really thought about in depth either. So good comment. The next one comes from Usman Asaf – and if I said that wrong, I apologize.

“I always compare a human brain to a computer’s hard drive, so I always imagined that erasing a memory is rather like setting a file ‘hidden’ on your computer. Technically it’s gone, no one will be able to access it unless they know it’s hidden, thus you can hide away many or as little as you want on your computer without harming the operating system. So a memory charm works in the same principle, it just locates the memory and hides it away… that’s why Voldemort was able to access Bertha Jorkins’ memories about Barty Crouch Jr. so technically, if we assume that a memory is hidden, no effect is taking place in Mr. Roberts’ brain at all. It certainly cannot be worse or less severe because he is a Muggle, as I don’t think the anatomy of a wizard’s brain differs to that of a Muggle.”

Kat: See, now…

Caleb: I really like the analogy there.

Kat: Yeah, I do too, but I disagree with the last part. I have a feeling that their brains work quite differently than ours. I can’t articulate it; I’m not a brain surgeon…

Leah: Well, yeah. You could say that the magic – their ability to do magic – would have some effect on the mental processes that go into their life…

Kat: Mhm.

Leah: How they interact with things, how they observe things and perceive things too.

Kat: Yeah, but for the most part, I agree with the comment; I just don’t agree with the last line. I honestly, truly think that because he’s a Muggle, it’s more damaging to him.

Caleb: Yeah, that’s a really… I keep going back in my brain – back and forth right now what I think – and I’m not entirely sure. That’s such a complex thing to weigh. Actually, it looks like – I just realized this happened again; I think this happened last week – Leah, it looks like we have your comment in here. So maybe you should read it.

Leah: So in response to the question,

“This scenario makes me think about the ethics of magic and especially magic that involves manipulating or altering someone’s mental state or memory. We know that Imperius works to overtake someone’s personal decision making… basically their free will. While distinct, memory charms also affect mental processes. Imperius is illegal and unethical but ‘Obliviate’ doesn’t seem to be illegal; but in my mind, it certainly is unethical. In a sense, removing or altering someone’s memory (however trivial or significant the memory is) is another way to remove their free will and thus their unalienable rights. I realize that the memory charms used to control Mr. Roberts would likely be justified under the Statue of Secrecy but what about the others we have seen in the series? And can wizard sneak up on another and perform a memory charm? Isn’t this just a perfect way to get out of trouble, clean up a crime, manipulate opinions on important matters… Or are Ministry officials only allowed to perform memory charms? Does the Ministry presume the authority over what people are allowed to remember?”

This sort of came out of my thought that, man, they’re doing this on a Muggle this many times. And it sort of goes back into the general idea about how wizards perceive Muggles and their inability to do magic.

Kat: I think we talked about the ethics behind memory charms before when it came up with Lockhart, but because he’s a Muggle it seems so much more wrong. Well, isn’t there a department of the Ministry that is specifically for memory charms?

Caleb: Yeah.

Eric: That’s the…

Leah: Isn’t there a Memory Reversal Squad or something?

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: Right.

Eric: Yeah, there’s Accidental Magic Reversal Squad and then there’s… I think they have memory guys for that.

Caleb: The Obliviators, yeah.

Eric: Yeah.

Leah: Doesn’t it fundamentally go towards that issue that wizards think that Muggles are lesser?

Eric: Yeah. Well, think about another way of performing a memory charm – say that you didn’t want to do a memory charm. You’d Imperio someone into removing that memory and putting it away into a Pensieve tube or whatever. We’ve seen wizards just taking memories and putting them in glass vials. So you could Imperio somebody, get them to remove that memory, and that would be the same thing as doing a memory charm. But Imperio is illegal and memory charms are not. I don’t know if that’s a different way of seeing what you’re saying.

Kat: I feel like they should be [illegal] against Muggles, unless you work for the Ministry. Because…

Eric: We’re going to see an abuse of power though if that happens.

Leah: Isn’t this abuse of power? Ten times a day?

Eric: Yeah. Extremely, because removal of memory is absolutely essential to the Statute of Secrecy. If wizards are to interact at all with Muggles, there needs to be a department and there needs to be ways in which you can protect the wizard community… especially from the actions of one crazy wizard, like either Voldemort or just somebody who’s maybe inexperienced, someone like that.

Leah: So that goes toward that whole idea, really that mental idea about government politics and stuff: sometimes the good of the collective outweigh the rights of one. So…

Eric: I think it raises… yeah. I think it raises the question: why didn’t they just send this Muggle family off on a vacation or something? Aren’t they paying them, too? Did I remember that from… aren’t they getting paid for…

Kat: They are getting paid, yeah.

Eric: So they won’t really remember what it’s about or kind of specifics – just that a bunch of people came and were there for three weeks… I don’t know, it’s very interesting that they can target and they have to remember certain things. He just remembers this prosperous summer… well, later he’s going to remember being tortured, but what are you going to do?

Kat: [laughs] Right.

Caleb: Yeah. Just one more quick response from someone else who’s actually a piece of a larger response. It kind of plays into the same idea about the Ministry from Katlyn… or Kaitlyn – not sure… Catelyn Stark…

Kat: Kaitlyn, probably.

[Eric laughs]

Caleb: Well, I say that… Eric gets it, but anyway… comment. It says,

“It’s kind of a perfect example of how broken the Ministry is even before we see it at its worst. This mode of operation – come in, ‘Obliviate,’ leave – would probably be fine for one-time cases. If a Muggle saw magic happening, they dealt with it, and they were never in that situation again. There is literally no alternative plan or how to deal with Muggles who are exposed to magical circumstances for hours on end.”

So kind of just tying up what we just talked about.

Kat: I mean, that’s true. It still sits so uneasy with me, though… it bothers me. I wouldn’t want to be that guy, Mr. Roberts.

Leah: No! [laughs]

Kat: Shall we jump into the chapter for the week?

Eric: Let’s jump! Or take a Portkey. Or a sinking ship. Or a carriage full of horses.

[Goblet of Fire Chapter 8 intro begins]

Announcer: Chapter 8.

[Sounds of fanfare and crowd cheering]

Announcer: “The Quidditch World Cup.”

[Goblet of Fire Chapter 8 intro ends]

Kat: Okay, so here we are at the beginning of the Quidditch World Cup. The horn has blown – or the gong, I think, is what the sound was…

Caleb: Yup.

Kat: … signaling the start of the 422nd World Cup. So the Weasleys and Harry and Hermione walk really far – it says twenty minutes, which is approximately a mile if you’re walking slow, so that’s pretty far away from the campground. That’s a big walk. And as they walk up, it says that… Mr. Weasley says that it seats 100,000 people, it’s solid gold…

[Eric and Leah laugh]

Kat: … and Harry estimated that it would fit about ten cathedrals in it.

Eric: Who decorated this?

[Leah laughs]

Kat: And I was like, what?! That’s insane. It’s huge.

Leah: It is ridiculous, and I even think the movie, sort of… there are more than 100,000 people in the stadium that they show in the movie.

Eric: How can you tell? They only show it for five seconds.

Leah: Well, yeah. But just by the glance that you get at it, I think they overdid it a little bit in the scale. It is for a movie, but… so this was written… am I correct in saying this was to be set in 1995?

Kat: Yeah.

Caleb: That sounds right.

Leah: So a stadium that seats 100,000 people – the Dallas Cowboys stadium, which is one of the newest stadiums that’s been built, seats 100,000 and that’s the newest right now. So a stadium seating 100,000 in 1995 would have been ridiculous.

Caleb: Yeah, I was thinking about this.

Kat: I think this is technically ’94, isn’t it? Because this is the ’94-’95 year?

Caleb: Oh yeah, that would make sense.

Kat: I mean, not that…

Leah: Summer of ’94.

Kat: Matter of a couple of months, but…

Caleb: Yeah, that’s a good point because I was thinking about where I went to college. Our stadium now holds a little over 100,000 people – the football stadium – but that wasn’t until they did the renovations in 2007 or 2008, not too long ago. So yeah, having that many people that far back is a pretty big feat.

Eric: Yeah, it is the World Cup…

Caleb: Yeah.

Eric: … for Quidditch. And also, though, it is just for a one-time event too. I think if you’re dealing with things like parking, you limit your space a little bit more.

Leah: Seriously… oh man, I didn’t even think about that! They don’t even have to deal with parking at all.

Kat: So lucky.

Eric: Yes, so they can take up a little bit more space.

Kat: So they walk up there and they get to the stadium and they say, “Prime seats, top box, all the way up!” And I’m wondering, why is the top seats the most prized?

Eric: Well, we find out…

Caleb: That’s true at our stadiums too, the box seats.

Eric: Yeah, but they’re in the nosebleeds, from what I gather.

Kat: Yeah.

Leah: Yeah, they’re at the top, top.

Kat: Right. I would want to sit somewhere in the middle.

Caleb: Oh, that’s true.

Eric: Well, I think the reason is given in this chapter. At the end of [the match] the players themselves come to this box to get their trophy or whatever. I think that’s really… this is the box that lights up. It’s actually a little too conspicuous for Barty Crouch, Jr. to be secretly hiding here, I think. Why would he choose the top box? That’s crazy.

Kat: [sighs] Spoilers, Eric! [laughs]

Eric: All eyes are on the top box. So yes, I was kind of torn, too, Kat, because like you, I’m thinking they’re so far up they have to use Omnioculars to see basically what’s going on. Wouldn’t the closer seats to the field, just like in regular sports, be the best? But I guess when you’re in a sport where people are flying, perhaps instead of being closest to the pitch, closest to the sky is what is more expensive.

Kat: I would want to be in the middle. I would want to be somewhere…

[Eric laughs]

Leah: But what if…

Kat: I would because…

Leah: What if the really cool play or thing that’s going on like Krum flying after a Snitch, and he’s way up high? You’d want to be… it seems like the Seekers are typically sort of up above, and they’re the most famous players or whatever, so…

Kat: But he dives to catch the Snitch in this chapter.

Eric: Yeah, in this game, things crash into the ground quite high. But Ireland does manage to score – what? – seventeen goals or something like that – sixteen or seventeen goals – and the hoops are quite elevated, so being eyeline with the hoops, I think, would be a better seat than being on the ground.

Kat: That’s true. No, I would agree with that.

Caleb: Yeah.

Leah: But are we imagining…

Caleb: There’s more going up high in the air.

Leah: Sorry, are we imagining the seats to be like they do it in the movies for the Quidditch pitch at Hogwarts, or is this… are we imagining it like they showed it in the movie for the Quidditch World Cup?

Kat: I would say like in the movie – tall and skinny with maybe only five or six rows in each box.

Eric: Yeah, but seeing how many people fit in Harry’s box too, it’s also questionable because they have both teams in addition to whoever was normally sitting there for the game. Plus Ludo Bagman, who’s announcing, is in that box, which also may answer your question, Kat, why it’s super popular.

Kat: That’s true. True, true. So there’s this great line that I had never caught before. I mean, per the ushe on this show, right?

Eric: Yeah.

Kat: So it says that Harry tore his eyes away. He was reading the magical sign, and he noticed a tiny creature sitting in the second from last seat at the end of the row behind them. And I just realized, who sits in the second to last seat?

Eric: Why don’t you tell us?

Leah: If there’s not someone invisible sitting in the last seat?

Kat: Exactly, and I just never caught it before.

Eric: Hmm.

Caleb: Wait, I missed something one of you said. I’m lost.

Kat: I said, “So there’s a tiny creature sitting in the second to last seat from the end of the row.”

Caleb: Right.

Kat: Who sits in the second to last seat?

Caleb: Oh, because… oh.

Kat: Right. If you’re going to sit…

Caleb: … you would just sit in the last seat.

Kat: … you’re going to sit on the end.

Eric: Maybe Winky doesn’t like the aisle because she’s scared of heights, and that puts her closer to the edge.

Kat: Yeah, but then that would mean that the rows are facing… you’d have to turn your head to one direction to look at the field, so they must be facing forward, so she wouldn’t be anywhere near the edge.

Eric: Maybe, but then there’s also the hustle and bustle of people coming down. Okay, it’s because she’s got Barty Crouch under the invisibility cloak.

Kat: I mean, obviously. That was my point.

Eric: What do you want to hear?

Kat: I don’t want to hear anything. I was just pointing it out. So the other thing that I noticed is that it mentions that all the seats are purple, which we’ve talked about before, which is the color of royalty, which I thought also brought… elevated the level of importance of the people that are in that box. So then the little creature that we find out is sitting in the second to last seat from the end is another house-elf. Actually, Harry mistakes her for Dobby at first but once she speaks realizes that, no, this is probably a girl. And they start having a conversation about Dobby, and it really stuck out to me this time just how much Winky is offended by Dobby, and she’s making a really big deal about doing what you’re told, staying in line, being a good house-elf.

Leah: Yeah. It actually made me think back to one of the MuggleNet Academia podcasts. They were talking about… a woman wrote a paper about house-elves as housewives but also about their freedom, and this is really the moment, as readers and as Harry, the revelation comes that oh, man. House-elves don’t actually want freedom. Well, apart from Dobby. He’s the exception. And so, well, for the past couple of books, we’ve been thinking, “Oh, Dobby is saved,” but really he’s become an outcast in his own community, which is rather sad and hard, I’m sure, on him, as we’ll see later.

Eric: Yeah. Even though Hermione doesn’t seem to be paying as much attention as Harry to what Winky is saying, this is completely the genesis for SPEW that comes later because it’s that same argument where Hermione would go so far as to say that the house-elves have, as a race, been hoodwinked into believing that they don’t need pay and that kind of thing, whereas Winky is also like, from her perspective, they never needed pay, and she told Dobby to go sit down and start a family now that he’s free or whatever, so she really has these different ideas, and Dobby can’t get a job anywhere because he’s expecting to get paid.

Leah: I also wanted to add, though, when we really get a sense of Winky talking, it made me think back about how house-elves are represented as having poor speech. Grammatically her speech is incorrect – she uses wrong tenses and things – so is this a way to show us that they’re not educated – or obviously they’re probably not – but wouldn’t they learn better English while living with their masters? But is it implying a lesser mental ability? Or is it just sort of the neglect that oh, we don’t care how they speak or whatever?

Kat: I think it’s all of the above. I liken the house-elves to slavery in the US in that they’ve always felt very similar in tone and attitude for me – not of course from Harry and Hermione and Ron’s point of view but the way that the people [who] “own” the house-elves treat them. I mean, they are slaves, and I feel like that has always been some sort of underlying tone or commentary on Jo’s part.

Eric: And to your question, Leah, about wouldn’t their English improve once they spoke to their masters, I’m sure there’s a lot of owners out there who don’t speak to their elves…

Kat: Yeah.

Eric: … at all, and the elf only speaks when spoken to and only says, “Yes, Sir,” “No, Sir,” this-that sort of thing, and there may or may not be any other elves. Dobby was the only one with the Malfoys, so there are probably not multiple elves that an elf would speak to during the day. I mean, Hogwarts is the huge exception, but you just don’t see them developing language skills through the use of language in these common individual homes.

Kat: That makes me so sad. They have such sad little lives.

Eric: [laughs] That’s the point of SPEW!

Kat: I know. So Hermione is looking through her program, and she mentions that the team mascots are going to precede the match, and Mr. Weasley says, “Oh, they always bring reat national treasures from their native land,” which I thought was really funny. But a little while later they’re all talking, and guess who shows up in the top box. None other than Lucius Malfoy. And we get here, I think, our first foreshadowing of how manipulative he is because the first thing that Fudge says about him is, “Oh, he just made a huge donation to St. Mungo’s. He’s here as my guest.”

Eric: My question is “Why St. Mungo’s?” It makes me question… the things that Lucius Malfoy puts his money into make me question the professionalism – no, not professionalism – whether they’re on the good side or bad side. Why would he be giving that much money to the hospital? You think it’s generous, but then there’s also this aspect of it seems kind of shady. Do you guys feel that at all?

Leah: Huh. Is it a front, and the money is being funneled somewhere else?

Eric: Yeah, St. Mungo’s is a creepy place. It’s hidden in a department store isn’t it? Department stores are creepy with all the lights off. I always imagined it as a dimly lit…

Leah: Maybe his donation is going to fund weird experiments or…

Eric [laughs] Yeah.

Leah: … all this dark stuff that goes on like autopsies and stuff.

Eric: In the basement of St. Mungo’s, yeah, exactly. Because they see the… I don’t know. It’s just something that carries over from some of the old wizarding world press books and HP Sleuths and stuff that also questioned, “Well, if Lucius Malfoy put his money in the hospital, what’s going on at the hospital?” But it could just be like, “Oh, I’m the benefactor. I gave money to the starving children,” or the children’s hospital, for instance. If it were a children’s hospital that he had given his money to everybody would understand. Nobody would question.

Kat: It’s funny. There’s always been… Lucius is one of those characters for me that there’s always been this weird nagging in the back of my mind when I read about him that… and I think we learn this in the end: that he’s not as dark and as awful as we think that he is. So I’m wondering – now that you bring it up – if this is kind of genuine.

[Eric laughs]

Kat: No…

Caleb: I think it serves the benefit of where it can be genuine and still serve to achieve something else.

Eric: Yeah.

Kat: Self-serving at the same time, yeah.

Caleb: Yeah. I mean, whenever we got that family history of the Malfoys on Pottermore quite a while back, you sort of discover that sort of element to the family history.

Kat: That’s true.

Leah: Would you say that Lucius is more driven by his self-preservation and his egotism and his narcissism versus a real… I mean, he hates Muggles, and he hates Mudbloods and stuff, but his egotism is the thing that really drives him versus the hatred and the prejudice.

Kat: Yeah, look at the name of his wife.

Leah: Well, yeah, exactly.

Caleb: Yeah.

Eric: That’s subtexual. That’s fourth-wally. You can’t say that influences his decision.

Kat: We accept the love we choose to receive.

Eric: What’s that from?

Kat: Wait, wait. That’s not the quote, is it?

Caleb: Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Kat: Is that the quote. Did I say it right?

Caleb: No. “We accept the love we think we deserve.”

Eric: Yeah, that’s different. That’s Perks. But…

Kat: That’s what I meant!

Eric: Okay. Well, no, I don’t think Lucius’s ego drives him. I think his desire for healthy status in society is what fuels him. There’s a difference. Because it has less to do about him and more to do with raising his family up to that level. I think it’s not just centered around his own person. His objectives are he gives a lot of money, which comes easy to him, so that it gives him status. And we see this transaction happening even in Book 5 when Lucius is with Fudge in the Ministry. We see him paying him off in the movie. All that stuff. So he’s basically using his money and his means to get ahead in the government and get a closer position in government without being, himself, an elected official. But I don’t know that it’s for him alone. It’s his family name. It’s all about his family, not just necessarily him alone.

Leah: I actually thought the choice for his wife’s name, Narcissa, I mean, that’s really obvious. Narcissim, etc. But it’s a bit ironic, too, because, in the end, spoilers, but she is actually pretty selfless when it comes to getting her son and doing all these… making sure that he’s going to be okay and everything. In terms of their family.

Eric: I wouldn’t call it selfless.

Kat: Yeah, I disagree with that.

Caleb: Yeah, it’s about preserving the family.

Eric: Yeah, it’s all about preserving the family with her. So she does care but only… and she does what’s right, which is important, by Harry. As soon as she can guarantee her son is alive, she then lies to the Dark Lord. But she does only care… if Harry had said, “No… ” Harry should have lied at that point, which we’ll get to that in Book 7. No matter what the answer is, tell her her kid is alive so that she can do what’s going to get you out of the situation. Because she does what’s right, but really, at that moment, she only cared that her life wasn’t in ruin, that everything she had been working for up to that point wasn’t to the point where you can’t take it back.

Kat: All right, so getting back to the chapter, there was a word in here that I actually wanted to ask you guys about.

Eric: Ooh!

Kat: It’s on page 102 of the US edition. It’s about the middle of the page. It says, “‘Everyone ready,’ he said…” – this is Ludo – “… his round face gleaming like a great, excited Edam.” E-D-A-M. What is that? I mean, I could have Googled it, but I figured I would ask you guys.

Eric: I am going to Google it. [laughs] It’s a round… it’s a round… [laughs] all right, you want to know what it is?

Kat: Uh-huh.

Eric: You’re going to be sorry you asked.

Kat: Okay.

Eric: It is a round, Dutch cheese. Typically pale yellow with a red wax coating.

Kat: Oh, Jo, I love you! She’s amazing.

[Eric laughs]

Kat: Okay. It’s a cheese.

Eric: And from Wikipedia, “It is a semi-hard cheese that originated in the Netherlands and is named after the town of Edam in the province of North Holland.” Obligatory genius moment.

Kat: Okay, so Ludo Bagman walks in and he does this awesome spell which projects his voice. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to be able to do that. He announces that the Quidditch World Cup is starting – the four hundred and twenty second – and he starts to introduce the team mascots. And I thought this bit was really interesting because before today – and I don’t know why I had never looked this up – I didn’t realize that a Veela was a legitimate thing. So, I looked it up and according to Wikipedia, they’re reminiscent of Sirens, which is the earliest recorded form of merpeople, which I thought was really interesting.

Eric: Hmm.

Kat: So they’re related somehow. It also says that they are thought to have a magic [that] doesn’t require a wand, kind of like house elves and goblins…

Eric: Mhm.

Kat: … which I thought was cool.

Caleb: And leprechauns.

Kat: And leprechauns. Yes. As we know, when angry, they sprout wings, a beak, and ragged teeth like a harpy. And then, so this is…

Caleb: Which makes them sound really appealing. [laughs]

Kat: Yeah.

Eric: Well, we’ve seen them turn… we see them turn bad. You know…

Kat: Yeah, we do.

Eric: … and get really angry and their faces stretch. And, yeah, I mean the Sirens of Greek mythology were actually bird-like and devoured men. Actually, no, if I’m recalling it correctly, they had the most beautiful voices ever. Sailors would sail to follow their voices and then die when their ships crashed in the rocks.

Kat: Right. No, exactly.

Eric: Yeah.

Kat: That’s the myths of mermaids, which I thought was cool. So all of that stuff – the last three points that I read – that was kind of like in the Potter fandom how they relate. But there’s actually legitimate Veelas out there, and again according to Wiki, it says that they’re from Slavic mythology…

Eric: Mhm.

Kat: … and they’re nymph-like creatures who live in the water. So I guess the whole merpeople thing works. But this jumped out at me and it says that they are a main feature in Bulgarian folklore. And there was a story that I found, it’s Marko Kraljevic and the Veela. I couldn’t read it. It was in Slavic.

Eric: Oh. [laughs]

Kat: Even with Google Translate. Couldn’t do it.

Eric: You know, we need some of those picture books with Slavic…

[Kat laughs]

Eric: … little men and women to teach you the… [laughs]

Kat: We do.

Eric: Full circle.

Kat: But I thought it was really interesting that they were real, legitimate creatures, because I didn’t know that.

Eric: Yup.

Leah: Well, if they’re associated with merpeople, and Fleur is part Veela, shouldn’t she have done better at the second task?

Eric: [laughs] Yes.

Caleb: Oh yeah, that’s so true.

Kat: That is a legitimate question.

Eric: That’s a hole. [laughs]

Caleb: That just goes to show Fleur’s inability.

Kat: Yeah. So of course we know what happens when the Veela come out. All the men go gaga over them and Harry is about to dive off of the…

Caleb: Yeah, it just seems so excessive. [laughs]

Leah: But no, seriously. This is a comment… this is an awesome comment by Jo on how ridiculous men can be in front of beautiful women.

Eric: No. No.

Caleb: All right. All right.

[Leah laughs]

Eric: Disagree. Can we boo that, Caleb? Just thumbs down.

Caleb: Yes.

Eric: Boo!

Caleb: Boo!

[Caleb and Eric laugh]

Leah: You’ve got to admit it.

Caleb: Although, I do wish that it could have been in the movie because this is the kind of scene that Daniel Radcliffe is perfect at.

Kat: Oh, I know. That’s so true.

Eric: [in Daniel Radcliffe’s voice] I love magic! I love Veela! [laughs]

Caleb: Yeah.

Eric: He would have just been flipping out. Well, I think it would have taken some significant thunder from the later Felix Felicis scene. If he were dangerously on the edge with his leg up against the…

[Leah laughs]

Eric: … as Hermione finds him wanting to jump down. I agree, it would have been a good scene in the movie.

Leah: But can you imagine a little piece of drool going down his cheek? [laughs]

Kat: Oh, God.

Eric: Well, don’t you remember, is it recently that J.K. Rowling admitted to only inventing Quidditch because she was making fun of how big sports are, or something? Did you guys hear this too?

Caleb: I wasn’t aware of that.

Kat: No. Did you make that up?

Caleb: I’m a little hurt if that’s true. [laughs]

Leah: I know.

Eric: I really should find my source on that. I remember reading it or hearing about it extremely recently.

Kat: Was it on Pottermore?

Eric: Just don’t know, but if that’s true, and then you take what Ms. Hufflepuffskein said over there about this drooling thing about being men against women, I’m just feeling very attacked by J.K. Rowling at the moment.

[Kat laughs]

Leah: Wow, there you go!

Caleb: Right! As a male, as a sports fan.

Eric: Yeah, pretty much. Pretty much as a human being right now I’m feeling attacked.

[Eric, Kat, and Leah laugh]

Eric: But yeah because we have the crux of… I mean everything is crazy. This whole chapter everything is crazy and everybody sees it as normal. You know, that the mascots are fighting and referee’s going after the mascots.

[Kat laughs]

Eric: The players are interfering with calls and there’s fouls and the game is getting aggressive. And Harry is learning quite a bit about his tactics and how they’ve been lacking.

[Kat laughs]

Eric: Just so much is going on and on top of it there are these beautiful female characters… it’s all very high testosterone.

Kat: It is, very much. No, I completely agree.

Leah: Isn’t there something out there that JKR said she didn’t really like writing Quidditch? Like…

Eric: I read that too…

Leah: … it wasn’t her favorite…

Eric: Well I think about… and she does it so well in this chapter, and that’s something I had to comment about this chapter, too, because you don’t know anything about these foreign international Quidditch players, but the announcing of them and the way the game works… it’s seamless, because you don’t need to know anything about sports or Quidditch to be able to kind of follow it. But I think what she said was by the end of Prisoner… and this is why one of the benefits of cancelling Quidditch in year four which we haven’t gotten to yet, and isn’t it cancelled again in year five? So she just said the games at Hogwarts were getting too similar. She had to keep doing things like rain to make them different, or fog. You know what I’m saying? Because otherwise they would have been extremely similar to watch with the same players and all that, so I think what she had said was that it became increasingly difficult to make it interesting and different both for the readers and for herself while writing Quidditch. But I think this World Cup was probably Jo’s best effort and I think it was probably before she really got tired of it.

Kat: I hope so.

Leah: Awesome undertones of male testosterone ridiculously.

[Eric laughs]

Kat: Which I guess I had never picked up on before but I’m not one… I don’t usually read into the whole feminine masculine thing. It’s just not something…

Leah: Didn’t Noah think that the Snitch was a woman or something? Wasn’t that a thing?

Kat: [laughs] Oh, God. Yeah, let’s not bring that back up because the fans basically hated every single word he said about that.

[Leah laughs]

Kat: So okay, after the Veela, of course, we see the leprechauns come in for the Irish team. I didn’t do any research on them. We know what leprechauns are, it’s cool.

[Eric laughs]

Kat: But then…

Eric: Actually I’m so sorry, can I just… something else just occurred to me…

Kat: Yeah.

Eric: … that the players on these teams are all male.

Leah: No, I think there’s a woman. There’s a woman on the Irish team.

Kat: Yeah, Moran I think is a woman.

Eric: Oh, I must have missed that description. Because I was looking at Lynch who was from Ireland, which I thought was funny, but that’s a dude and I think he’s the captain of the Irish team if I’m not mistaken. Yeah, I thought it was at least mostly guys, maybe? I don’t know.

Leah: Yeah I think… well, at least, when Ludo Bagman’s doing the commentary, there’s only one mention of a “she” as one of the players.

Kat: Now that the match is playing, Ron and Harry and Hermione are all using their Omnioculars and I thought that…

Caleb: Which, I’m going to… actually, I don’t want to interrupt but someone – a fan – created a meme based on what we talked about the Omnioculars last week. How we made a joke of it being Oprah’s favorite things the…

[Kat laughs]

Caleb: … “You get an Omnioculars! You get one! Everyone gets one!” And it was really awesome.

Kat: It’s on our Twitter. You guys should go check it out. It’s really hilarious. Yeah our fans, you can’t see right now, but I’m making a heart with my fingers.

Eric and Kat: Aww.

Eric: You know, it’s basically like the wizarding world’s version of Tivo.

Kat: Oh my God, it is.

Eric: Yeah.

Kat: But Omnioculars are even cooler though because it will tell you the play, the formations that the players are doing. And I was thinking about, what if you could use this for everything in life?

[Everyone laughs]

Caleb: Well, sports alone would be amazing…

Kat: No, no, no!

Caleb: … to be able to see those plays.

Kat: Say you’re dating and you’re…

Caleb: Okay.

Kat: … you go out and you just want to see what’s going to happen, see…

Caleb: But it doesn’t tell the future.

Leah: No, but you can replay, you can think about what they said and…

Kat: Yeah, right? So, you go up and you interact with somebody and then you…

Eric: Through your Omnioculars, it would be anti-social. [laughs]

Leah: No, but then you would get all the info.

Eric: Rude.

Kat: Okay, so, you have somebody else…

Caleb: Where you going off, Kat? [laughs]

Kat: … record it.

Eric: Be like a…

Kat: And then you go and play it back and you can see if he’s…

Caleb: Oh, well that makes sense! The friend that’s waiting by the bar and can…

Kat: Yeah! Your wingman.

Caleb: … see everything go on, yeah. I totally buy that.

Leah: And you get all the…

Eric: And the Omnioculars read out says, “Only interested in one thing.”

Kat: Yeah, or…

Caleb: Whoops.

Kat: … this like the Wronski Feint or whatever, like Jerkski something, I don’t know.

Eric: Okay.

Kat: I just think it would be really funny.

Caleb: Yeah, that would. [laughs]

Leah: Google’ll develop it.

Kat: So I thought this was funny, and you brought this up before with the referee…

Eric: Mhm.

Kat: … how he was being, I guess, what’s the word I’m looking for? Affected by the Veela?

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: And if the… I’m sure that they knew the Veela were coming. So, why would you not get a woman referee?

Eric: Yeah. If they truly don’t affect women at all and if it’s blanket – no women are affected – but still, the fact that they had eight months or so, isn’t it eight months to prepare the Quidditch World Cup?

Kat: I think so.

Eric: Yeah, I mean… and they overlooked that? What? Were the Bulgarian mascots that much of a surprise from everybody? You’re exactly right. I think the referee in particular should have been able to be passive and I’m not saying that it’s… like he should have been stronger and all that stuff, but yeah, just get a woman referee, I mean, if it’s that simple.

Kat: Speaking of, and this just came to mind, do you think that the Veela… it says that it’s all the men, but do you think it goes off sexual preference? I’m just saying, what if guys don’t like girls, the Veela…

Eric: I think it has more to… yeah. I mean…

Caleb: I would say yeah. I can’t see why not.

Eric: I think it probably has to do more with pheromone – eh, I don’t know how that kind of thing affects someone who’s not inclined to that sex anyway. So yeah, I couldn’t say.

Kat: Hmm.

Caleb: Yeah, I think it would be based off sexual preference. So…

Kat: Okay, glad I’m not the only one.

Eric: But it seems to be overly magical, like interspecies magical kind of stuff. So I have no idea.

Kat: Oh, interspecies? Yeah, but then…

Eric: They’re a different species…

Kat: Right.

Eric: So it’s not like… it doesn’t… less to do with liking something of your own species. It’s a different species. It’s like unicorns. It’s like finding unicorns beautiful or not. Who doesn’t?

Kat: Right, but then that would affect women too.

Eric: Hmm. Oh yeah, I guess you’re right. Well, somebody likes Veela enough to be a father to Fleur. So…

Kat: [laughs] That’s true.

Leah: But how does he do that? How does he not kill himself trying to impress her? Or maybe he just has a strong will.

Eric: [laughs] He’s the most masculine man in the world.

[Kat laughs]

Eric: He’s the Dos-XXs guy.

Kat: I was just going to say that!

[Eric and Kat laugh]

Caleb: Oh my God, the most… yeah.

[Eric and Kat laugh]

Kat: Okay, so this next part offended me a little bit, but I mean, that’s not surprising. So the penalty… all this stuff is going on with the Veela and the leprechauns, it said, “had risen in to the air again and this time, they formed a giant hand, which was making a very rude sign,” and all I thought to myself was there are children at this match. Who is regulating these mascots?

Eric: Was this the first…

Caleb: No one. Clearly no one.

Eric: Was this the only film that was PG-13? Am I wrong? Was that Order of the Phoenix? Because they totally could have included this, but it would have made it PG-13 or more…

Kat: I don’t know.

Eric: … for it.

Caleb: I’m not sure.

Eric: I love that, though. This is not the first time, I don’t think, that we’ve seen a reference to this. I think even in Chamber of Secrets when Ginny has them keeping on going back to the Burrow for her diary, I think Mr. Weasley shouts a rude word or something. It’s always a rude word, it’s a rude gesture.

Kat: It’s Ron. Ron does that a lot. He’s very vulgar.

Caleb: Yeah, Ron’s very crude. [laughs]

Eric: But it’s hidden so well behind the word and behind the…

Kat: Yeah.

Eric: It’s alluded to and you know what it is – you can discern from context clues – but it’s not said aloud. I think it’s one of those brilliant things in Jo’s writing.

Leah: And leprechauns are meant to be tricksters, right? Or whatever? So, if they…

Eric: Yeah.

Leah: … were told PG, of course they’re going to go over the line.

Kat: Right.

Eric: Yeah, but that just shows again how not regulated the mascots were, an area where it was probably smart to pay a little bit more attention.

Kat: Clearly. So we’re nearing the end of the match here and this is after Krum had already pulled his Wronski Feint – I think I said that right.

[Eric laughs]

Kat: And they’re going towards the Snitch again and all of a sudden Krum catches it, it’s over, they win. Actually…

Caleb: Who wins?

Kat: … they lose. I was just kidding. Bulgaria loses, 160.

Caleb: Who wins, though?

Kat: Ireland wins.

Caleb: Yeah!

Eric: Whoa, Caleb! Go Irish. Go Irish.

Caleb: Go Team Ireland!

[Eric grumbles]

Kat: He’s pretty excited.

Eric: But I will say, guys, this really could have gone on much longer than it did. Reading Quidditch Through the Ages, there are games that happen for far longer than just a couple of… maybe this was an hour, tops.

Kat: If that.

Leah: I know, yeah. It seemed shorter than that.

Kat: Like ten minutes, tops.

Eric: It could do… have something to do with how skilled the players are, of course they catch the Snitch faster because the guy could sneak… I almost said sneakers.

[Kat laughs]

Eric: Seekers! They have good sneakers and good Seekers, but yeah, I don’t know if that has anything to do with it. I think it is convenient that it happens so short. But yeah, sorry, continue making your point.

Kat: It’s okay. The line that stood out for me and made me laugh, actually incredibly hard this time, is on page 114 of the US edition and it’s after they were like, “Oh my God! Krum gets the Snitch, but Ireland wins!” And Harry was talking about the Irish Chasers were too good, he wanted to end it on his own terms and Hermione’s like, “He was very brave, wasn’t he?” [makes swooning nose]

Caleb: Swoon.

Kat: And I guess, that’s the moment. She… that was when she fell for Krum.

Eric: But if she knew anything about sports, I think she… here’s how I feel about it. I think it was a bad decision for Krum to catch the Snitch.

Caleb: Same.

Eric: I’m sorry. You’d never catch up, really? All he had to do was continue – because he kicked the other Seeker’s butt like crazy, he dominated the other Seeker – essentially just keep preventing the other Seeker from getting the Snitch until your team can catch up.

Caleb: Yeah, because if Bulgaria would have happened to get two more goals, I mean, that’s all it would have taken.

Eric: Yeah.

Caleb: It’s like a two-goal swing and they could have won.

Eric: Exactly. At that point I don’t think it was that much of a certain thing that Ireland was just so better, even though it was sixteen goals in a row.

Caleb: Yeah. If it would have been a bigger difference, like I would have at least let it get a little bit more widespread before I would have made that decision.

Eric: When you’re talking about a ten point difference or what would have happened if they had gotten ten points and it would have tied 170-170?

Caleb: Yeah. I don’t know what happens with the tie.

Eric: Or is it the team who caught the Snitch, because that’s what ended the game? Do you just do that?

Caleb: Yeah. That would make sense.

Eric: I think it’s probably definitively stated in Quidditch of the Ages. But still…

Kat: That’s how it is in Muggle Quidditch, so I’m positive that that’s how it is in wizarding Quidditch.

Eric: Oh, wow. So I think… I don’t think it was brave at all. In fact, I’m just going to call Hermione out on that, but also I think Ron says it too where Harry – some of them agree, even the saying it, “He wanted to end it on his own terms.” I’m sorry, that’s wrong. There’s… he… if that was right, sure, but Krum just shouldn’t have done that.

Caleb: Yeah. I mean, honestly, in a way I see it as giving up. So, whatever.

Leah: Well, could it have been about of developing his character as just this prideful, proud individual that will take the glory of having caught the Snitch? While he didn’t win he was still the one that caught the Snitch and stopped all the goal scoring that’s been going on against them.

Eric: Yeah, but this is the World Cup. It’s like, have a little bit more… it’s what your team…

Leah: Yeah, it speaks to the fact that he was more interested in showing his skills rather than letting his team come back.

Eric: And furthermore, this… it’s a shame that… was I wrong? Is Quidditch canceled this year? Or does it still happen?

Caleb: It’s canceled for the Triwizard Cup.

Eric: Oh, because they’re growing the hedge right? The hedge maze.

Caleb and Kat: Yeah.

Eric: Okay. Is it a hedge maze? It is a hedge maze.

Kat: Mhm.

Eric: Because I would really like to see – and this chapter reminded me of how cool it would have been – a broom match between Viktor and Harry.

Kat: Totally.

Eric: Clearly one is a super international pro-star Quidditch player. So you can see how that would go.

Kat: And then there’s Krum.

Eric: But when they do both get on brooms…

[Eric and Kat laugh]

Eric: … it’s separately. So… and that whole scene where – in the film – Harry flies all over Hogwarts, that’s completely a movie-ism. So you just don’t get to see Harry and Viktor face off on brooms, which would have been really cool.

Leah: Like the forty time or something, like drills that football players do.

Eric: I think it’s a missed opportunity, but…

Kat: I agree.

Eric: Otherwise that was just brought out by Krum’s playing style and how he basically gave up at the end of this match. Very odd.

Kat: The last point that I wanted to bring up in here is about the beloved Fred and George and on one of the pages it says, “Oh my God! Like none of us were expecting that.” And then there’s Fred and George hands out, broad grins at Ludo Bagman, and I was wondering, legitimately, how did they guess that?

Caleb: Yeah. [unintelligible] as the last time.

Leah: Did they do Divination?

Caleb: Such a ballsy bet.

Leah: Did they try out some Divination?

Kat: Divination?

Leah: Would that work?

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: Do they even take Divination?

Caleb: I don’t know. They’re pretty smart, so…

Leah: Well, wouldn’t the possibility of Divination really screw up wizard gambling? If somebody could really tap into that, they’re making all this money on gambling amongst wizards.

Eric: There is a quote from J.K. Rowling about this. She did finally get asked this in a public forum.

Kat: Awesome.

Eric: Because for a really long time the most likely theory was that they used a Time-Turner.

Caleb: Yeah I was about to say.

Eric: But they’re so regulated. But at the same time, if you look at statistically the odds of how often that has to happen, where a team who catches the Snitch doesn’t win.

Kat: Right.

Caleb: It’s very rare.

Eric: It has to be so rare and for them to have been so confident enough, because if they had lost it they would have owed him money, wouldn’t they?

Kat: Yes, a lot.

Caleb and Eric: Yeah.

Eric: Like more than their lives’ worth or, “More than their house is worth,” to quote Lucius Malfoy. Let me just double check here. Did not have… okay, Fred and George did not have foreknowledge of the Quidditch World Cup. This is an interview with The Leaky Cauldron in 2005. They simply gambled on a hunch and won. They quote, “Were prepared to risk everything.” That’s what Jo said.

Caleb: Wow.

Eric: So I think it’s more of a… she made the decision a long time ago never to explain it and now just says, “Yeah, it was chance.” But I do think it’s very unlikely that they would just do that, but…

Leah: Well, couldn’t it have been that they…

Caleb: Then again if it was going to be any character I think that they’re the biggest risk takers, so…

Eric: Hmm, that’s fair.

Kat: That’s true. I agree with that.

Leah: While it is a risk, couldn’t they have studied all these two teams really intensively, information about them, study the players themselves and come to the conclusion like Harry says at the end, the Irish Chasers are super super good and Krum is proud enough to finish the game without winning?

Caleb: Well, yeah. And he’s also much better than the Irish Seeker. So yeah, I agree.

Leah: Right. So, they’re probably convinced that he was going to get the Snitch, but to see the Irish Chasers are so good this is a plausible scenario. And, obviously, I mean, it came to be so maybe they just have really good insight into Quidditch and they should be scouting.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: So that’s it. We end the chapter with the twins’ hands out at Ludo Bagman waiting for their riches, so…

Caleb: Yay, everyone gets to go party and celebrate because everything is going to go so well! [laughs]

Kat: Yeah, we’ll see if they get it. Exactly.

Leah: So, wasn’t it… it was… last time you guys said that it was like $380 or something that it would come out to, whatever it was that they were betting?

Kat: Mhm.

Caleb: Right.

Leah: And then Bagman gave them ten-to-one odds. So, they were in for like $3800?

Caleb: $3800, yeah.

Leah: Which is not a small amount of money.

Caleb: It’s time for this week’s Podcast Question of the Week. In this chapter, we see the Leprechauns and the Veelas – the two mascots for the two teams – face off several times, even coming very close to a fight. Let’s say that the two parties decided to settle things off the pitch after the match.

Kat: [laughs] Awesome.

Caleb: Who would win in a fight? We want to see some mythological and lore-based evidence here, not just some simple answer. Make it creative. Make it epic.

Kat: That wraps up the show pretty much. We want to thank you, Leah, for being here. I hope you had an amazing time.

Leah: Yeah, cheers, thanks. It was really fun.

Kat: Good, I’m glad.

Eric: So just like Leah, you too can be on an episode of [pronounces as “Aloe-homora”] Alohomora! I said it that way – you’re going to have to deal.

[Caleb laughs]

Eric: Head over to our website, alohomora.mugglenet.com – there, I said it back normal again. Or email alohomorapodcast at gmail dot com. One of the requirements we ask for you to be a candidate is that you do have good recording equipment and a recording program tried and tested to record your own individual audio track, which is how we do this on this show. But in the meantime, while your applications are pending, feel free to subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes telling others about us and what you think of our show.

Kat: And in the meantime, if you just want to get a hold of us – if you have a question, comment, or anything else – you can find us on Twitter at @AlohomoraMN, facebook.com/openthedumbledore, or you can leave a voicemail – just like the one we played on the show tonight – at 206-GO-ALBUS. That’s 206-462-5287.

Eric: Please be sure to check out our ever-updating Alohomora! store where you can buy everything from T-shirts to tote bags with a number of sayings, expressions, designs, and we are adding more. And I just thought of us adding Team Veela and Team Leprechaun shirts…

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Oh, God. And I know…

Caleb: Yes!

Eric: … based on our Podcast Question of the Week. So who knows, we may – depending on how fiery all of your answers are. If it’s split directly down the middle, maybe we’ll see about adding that.

Caleb: Oh my God.

Eric: But you can go to the Alohomora! store via the link on the Alohomora! webpage and check us out, for sure.

Kat: And there is a sale going on right now. If you buy two items, you get free shipping. The code and everything is… I think it’s AUTUMN13 – so A-U-T-U-M-N-1-3. But you can find out the information for sure over on our website. So check it out.

Caleb: Also, make sure you check out our really great smartphone app, which is available in the US and the UK for iPhone or iPad and Android or Kindle. It’s $1.99 in the US and £1.29 in the UK. It’s also available now for Windows 8 phone users for the same price in the US, and that is where it’s available at the moment. On that app, you will find things like transcripts, bloopers, alternate endings, host vlogs, and a lot more.

[Show music begins]

Eric: That does it for this episode. I am Eric Scull.

Caleb: I’m Caleb Graves.

Kat: And I’m Kat Miller. Thank you for listening to Episode 46 of Alohomora!

Caleb: Open the Dumbledore!

[Show music continues]

Eric: Yeah, that’s cool. I didn’t notice anything.

Caleb: Yeah, I totally skipped over that.

Kat: Yeah, I know. Ravenclaw.

[Eric laughs]

Kat: What house are you, Leah?

Leah: I’m Hufflepuff.

Kat: Oh, that’s a really stupid question.

[Leah laughs]

Eric: Hufflepuffskein? You’re going to ask Hufflepuffskein…

Caleb: She said that at the beginning of the show.

[Eric laughs]

Kat: Yeah, I know. John, you can cut that out because I sound like a blonde.

Caleb: [laughs] Right after she [was] talking about being…

Eric: Ravenclaw.

Caleb: … a Ravenclaw.

[Kat laughs]

Caleb: Karma.

Kat: Hey, I’m spacey. I have a bad memory. That suits the Ravenclaw. Okay, anyway…

[Prolonged silence]

Kat: And speaking of the Muggles that own the campsite, should we jump into the chapter for the week?

Eric: Let’s jump! Or take a Portkey or a sinking ship.

Kat: Okay.

Eric: Or a carriage full of horses.

Kat: [roll tongue] Oh, wait. I was going to neigh and I made some stupid noises.

[Leah laughs]

Caleb: I don’t get… that part really startled me. [laughs]

Eric: Or how about magic carpet, Kat?

Kat: Oh, no. No magic carpet for me, thank you.

Eric: No magic carpet for you? Oh, okay.

Kat: No.

[Prolonged silence]

Kat: [laughs] That was so Noah of you. I loved it.

Eric: Do it like Winky. [laughs]

Kat: Like Winky?

Caleb: I don’t think I can pull that off.

Eric: Oh, okay. I was just listening to Jim Dale’s Winky.

Kat: [in a high-pitched voice] Open the Dumbledore!

Caleb: Except slightly more spastic.

Kat: [speaking fast in a high-pitched voice] Open the Dumbledore!

[Caleb and Eric laugh]

Caleb: Yes. Bloopers, hello.

Kat: [laughs] Okay. There’s going to be a lot of those in this episode, kids. A lot of those.

Leah: Well, when we get to Madame Maxime, you guys should do it like, [as Maxime] “Open the Dumblydore!” [back to normal voice] or something like that.

Eric: [as Maxime] Oh, Dumblydore! Hagrid!