2023 (Ep. 162 – 214)


Episode 214:

In this episode, we answer some difficult Harry Potter would you rather questions. Enjoy!

Summary/Topics:
·      1:58 Would you rather save Sirius or Dumbledore? Yep, starting off strong. Sirius is the closest thing Harry has to a father and his death was a wrenching situation for Harry. Dumbledore was one of Harry’s closest friends and the person who lead the defense against Voldemort. All in all, I think though Harry would be hurt if Sirius died, the rest of the world would be damaged in Dumbledore died, so Dumbledore is the best choice.

·      10:47 Would you rather save Fred or Dobby? This is a tough one. Dobby was a free elf who didn’t deserve to be killed. He had his whole free life ahead of him. Fred with a close friend of Harry that died in the Battle of Hogwarts. Harry hated seeing everyone dying for him, which pushed him to go to the forest. It is for that reason that we should choose Dobby. Harry seeing Fred and knowing he died for him was why Harry went to the forest. If that happens, Harry wins. We know this. If we asked Fred, “Would you trade your life for a victory?”, he would say yes every time. Plus, Dobby didn’t deserve what he got and choosing him would guarantee victory.

·      17:42 Would you rather McGonagall or Hagrid be a secret spy for Voldemort? Both people are in support of Dumbledore through and through which is why it would be such a huge shock if one if them were to be a spy. The deciding factor is this: Dumbledore always says he would trust Hagrid with his life. Also, McGonagall is sharper and would be a better spy, which is why she is the better choice. 

·      22:16 Would you rather Snape really be on Voldemort’s side or Pettigrew really be on Dumbledore’s side? Which would be the most interesting for the story? One of Snape’s driving characteristics is his willingness to risk his life every day and act as a double agent. We never would think of Pettigrew as a double agent, but maybe that is exactly why he would be the best at being one. So which would be more interesting for the story? Probably Snape. It would be such a good reveal if at the end we realized that Snape was working for Voldemort.

·      27:07 Would you rather have a TV show or an 8th film? This is a real-life question. With a TV show, we could go much farther into depth than the films ever could. We could meet new characters, see things that were overlooked, and really get to know another side of the characters.  An 8th film would be a continuation of the story to see where the characters go and the aftermath of the battle. Without question, a TV film would be so much more valuable. 

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Episode 213:

In this episode, we rank every Christmas in Harry Potter. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
·      2:15 Deathly Hallows. This is the Christmas on which Harry and Hermione met “Bathilda Bagshot” who was really Nagini. Voldemort showed up and tried to kill them, all this being after Harry saw the graves of his parents. His wand broke, many attempts were made on their lives, and they didn’t find the sword or anything else for that matter. Not their best.  

·      7:18 Chamber of Secrets. This might be a bit better than book seven, but it’s not great. This is the holiday season where Hermione turns into a cat and Ron and Harry turn into Crabbe and Goyle to question Malfoy, which was a complete disaster. They had a hilarious exchange around stomach pain and ran out.

·      13:24 Goblet of Fire. The Yule Ball might seem cool at first glance, but it really didn’t end very well. Hermione managed to have a good time, but Ron was man that Krum chose Hermione over him and he had to destroy their nights. On top of that, Harry and Ron weren’t very kind to their own dates (“Do you want to dance?” Harry and Ron: “Naw”). 

·      18:51 Half Blood Prince. This is middle of the road because there are some good and some bad events. The main bad reason is Harry’s spying on Malfoy. He ducks out of Slughorn’s party early just to spy on him! However, he does have a good time and also goes to the Burrow. Not a loss, not a victory.

·      21:13 Order of the Phoenix. In both the book and film, this Christmas is spent very well. In the book, they spend a lovely dinner with Sirius at Grimauld Place, then they head to St. Mungo’s to see Arthur. In the film, Arthur is with them and they have a merry time. No complaints there.

·      23:41 Prisoner of Azkaban. This is a good Christmas because of the Firebolt. Quidditch is one of Harry’s favorite things in the world, and this broom is the key to even more enjoyment out of it. Malfoy tries to catch him out and points out the fact that he has a broom, but he can’t do anything about it because it is completely allowed just like he tried to in the first book.

·      26:14 Sorcerer’s Stone. There is nothing wrong with this one. It is the very first time we see a magical Christmas. There are no evil people to fight or huge problems that need solving. It’s just enjoying a fantastic Christmas with Harry’s best friend. He receives the invisibility cloak which turned into one of the most valuable things he has. There are so many good things happening here and it is hard to fault. 

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Episode 212:

In this episode, we flip the script to explore how the story would be different if Peter Pettigrew was on Dumbledore’s side. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
·       1:59 Dumbledore would have another line to Dumbledore. Snape is an effective and worthy spy, but have two perspectives on information is very valuable. They could find out if Voldemort was planning something he didn’t want Snape to know. Peter is also much more low profile and he can turn into a rat. It would be easier for him to sneak into situations and listen in on more conversations. One line of intelligence is pretty good, but two is priceless. 

·      7:23 Voldemort’s return would be different. This is a crossroads. It is Peter that helps Voldemort return the most, but if he’s on Dumbledore’s side, why would he? On the surface, it doesn’t make sense. But it might be a good move. Knowing Voldemort it makes sense that he would find a way to come back even without Peter’s help. So they can bring him back and install Peter as his right hand man and control his return in the process. Is it a good deal?

·      12:38 Sirius might not go the Azkaban. Or, he might go for a specific reason. If Pettigrew was on his side and he knew it, why would be break out in the first place? But then again, he was put away because he killed many muggles and, apparently Peter. If he knew they were on the same side, why would he? But what if Dumbledore didn’t say anything to Sirius? They would still have the same fight and Sirius would be arrested. Then Dumbledore could prove it was Peter and Sirius would be released. Peter could then run to Voldemort as a criminal on the run, join with him and become a spy. 

·      18:24 Malfoy Manor might be a little different. Peter owes Harry his life in the story, but things might shake out differently if they’re on the same side. Harry might not even end up there in the first place. But again even if he did, they could use it to their advantage. Peter could be the one to call Voldemort to prove his innocence and then create an escape, blaming someone else. 

23:16 Peter might be a better person. If he’s on Dumbledore’s side, there’s a good chance that he has different morals and he cares about lives and being good. No matter if he’s on Dumbledore’s side so he becomes a better person or he’s a better person so he’s on Dumbledore’s side, it is a swell situation either way.

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Episode 211:

In this episode, we discuss some enemies that could have been friends. Enjoy!

·      2:11 Harry and Dudley. Watch the deleted scene here. The main benefit of this friendship would be an ally for Harry on Privet Drive. Every summer, he dreads the return and getting bullied by Dudley, but if he had a friend in Dudley instead, he might not find his summer home so horrible.

·      9:12 Harry and Bellatrix. If Harry and Bellatrix were friends, the story would be very different. When she kills Sirius, would Harry begin to hate her guts like he did when she was his enemy from the start? Their storyline would be much more interesting if Voldemort forced Bellatrix to kill Sirius. We have to assume that Sirius and Bellatrix were on good terms before that which only adds another layer of complexity. This could never happen! But if it could…

·      14:56 Snape and Hermione. This occurred to me because I never understood why Snape never saw Lily in Hermione as well as Harry. This is something that should have come out because though Harry is more closely related to Lily, Hermione is much closer to her at face value. It would be an unlikely friendship for sure, but it is one that could help bridge the gap of hate between Harry and Snape.

19:04 Dumbledore and Voldemort. One of the most interesting parts of the Fantastic Beasts films is the relationship between Grindelwald and Dumbledore. If Grindelwald was replaced by Voldemort, how would the story change? Dumbledore would probably find the war more difficult because instead of fighting an evil wizard he’s fighting the little boy from the orphanage who is angry at the world. 

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Episode 210:

In this episode, we discuss the pros and cons of the tri-wizard tournament. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
·      2:10 Cheating is promoted. The point of the competition is to think on your feet and adapt to any situation, but if the champions know everything about the challenges before they even stat, there is no point to any of it and the only challenge becomes who can learn the most about the task beforehand. 

·      5:11 Cheating is promoted. Genius! Cheating takes the competition out of the tasks and creates and more year-round event. If cheating is part of the tradition, it only tests more skills of more low profile work that the champions may have.

·      10:02 It puts the students in danger. The risk of death or injury is remarkably high and even if everyone escapes unscathed (which they didn’t) they might not come out the same as Dumbledore said. It is difficult the justify this competition if the lively hood of the students is put into the question to such an extreme degree. 

·      12:35 It brings the students together. Look at Hogwarts! With Cedric as a champion, every house was united against Harry which has never happened. Something powerful enough to get three of the four houses working together is worth mentioning. And the students from Durmstrang and Beauxbatons were cheering for their school’s candidate.

·      15:49 It pulls the teachers apart. They were all in uproar when Harry was chosen and they didn’t want to give Dumbledore an unfair advantage. The teachers are also all competing to get the most information to their champion. For them, the whole point is to win. That’s it.

·      19:16 A huge source of magical cooperation. Ministries work together and, though they might compete, the teachers meet and judge together. The students get the chance to meet others like them from different parts of the world and learning about a different way of life. Bill met his wife! They all have a common goal and interest that can promote magical harmony. 

·      23:43 So is it worth the trouble? Absolutely not. The pros outweigh the cons and the only way to get rid of all the cons is to get rid of the tournament. There are other sources of magical cooperation that the ministries can work together on and if a competition is really what the students want, there is certainly one that can be thought up that doesn’t seriously put the students at risk.

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Episode 209:

In this episode, we rank the top 10 spells in Harry Potter. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
·      2:23 Honorable Mention and #10 Engorgio

·      5:10 #9 Incendio

·      7:10 #8 Immobulus 

·      9:50 #7 Protego

·      12:47 #6 Disillusionment charm

·      16:22 #5 Bubble Head Charm

·      18:54 #4 Wingardium Leviosa 

·      20:59 #3 Expecto Patronum

·      24:02 #2 Stupify

·      26:00 #1 Expeliarmus

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Episode 208:

In this episode, we break down the character of Dobby. Enjoy!

Summary/Topics:
·      2:12 Dobby’s role in the story. Simply put, he started out as a solution for problems and a way to move the story along, but he became someone who stood up against the forces of evil and the weights that had previously held him back for so long. It is a real shame that he didn’t have the chance to come full circle and lead to house elves to victory against Voldemort. 

·       10:22 Strengths. One of Dobby’s greatest strengths is his loyalty. Harry is the person that freed him from the Malfoys and he is forever thankful and loyal to Harry for doing that for him. Because of that, Dobby is willing to do anything for Harry. This works well in combination with another strength: being a house elf. He is a field agent of sorts that can go behind enemy lines and infiltrate   places that would be otherwise unavailable to Harry. 

·      15:30 Weakness. Dobby has many just like any other character, but he main weakness is being in a position that wasn’t meant to make it to the end of the story. This isn’t his fault, but he is in the perfect place to be killed. He escaped his previous life which he hated and had made it so far, and began helping the people he truly cared for. That is just the right moment to take him out, right at the point where is hurts the most. 

·      19:40 How would the story be different without him? The characters that benefited from his services would have to figure out how to do it themselves. This could lead to some pretty interesting story lines. For example, Aberforth. If he couldn’t send Dobby, he would have to find a way to get into the Malfoy Manor himself. And Moody couldn’t use Dobby to get the gillyweed to Harry. Instead, he could have to find a way to get it to Harry himself. 

·      24:03 What was Dobby’s defining moment? When he was first set free. Lucius handed him the sock-filled diary that Harry had given a few moments before, and Dobby was free and he didn’t hold back. He said some things that he would never before and sent Lucius flying down the hallway. This set the scene for his defiance and his drive to fight for the right people. 

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Episode 207:

In this listener submitted episode, we discuss what objects Harry and Voldemort would choose in an object draft. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
·      2:12: The Elder Wand. Harry wouldn’t want it to use it, he just wouldn’t want Voldemort to have it. If Voldemort had been the true master, Harry wouldn’t have had a chance like Ollivander said. However, Voldemort put a lot of his energy into finding and killing the true master, so if he didn’t have the Elder Wand and didn’t worry about finding the master, he might be able to find Harry easier.

·      10:58 Bellatrix’s knife. This is the very same knife that Bellatrix used to kill Dobby, and that is exactly what Harry would want to stop from happening. He was enjoying life as a free elf, defending the innocent and helping his friends. He didn’t deserve to die and Harry knew that. On top of that, the rules of magic didn’t apply as much to him, so he could be a spy for Harry and get into places that Harry couldn’t.

·      15:39 The Sword of Gryffindor. Harry would choose the sword after the trade with Griphook. He wanted to have both the cup and the sword, but if it was a choice, the cup was the right one. But what could be better than having both. The sword is a surefire way of destroying horcruxes. Though it may be more difficult to get the horcruxes themselves than find a way to destroy them, having the sword and destroying them right when they find them would be the real prize.

·      20:27 The Marauder’s Map. This is a no-brainer. The map is literally a map to Harry’s location. He doesn’t have to send a bunch of Death Eater’s out to find him; all he has to do is give them a location and that’s that. Outside of Harry, he also knows the location of just about everyone else. He could use it to find the hunters of his horcruxes to see how close they get.

·      24:16 The Diadem of Ravenclaw. The destruction of his horcruxes are the main reason why he loses, so protecting them is a way to ensure victory. Though he might still lose the final duel and could be forced close to death like the first time he went after Harry, he would live to fight another day and plot his return.

·      26:44 The Sorting Hat. After he chose the two previous items, Voldemort would be pretty much set. If he has the map and the diadem, there is no chance that Harry could win. Choosing the sorting hat and destroying it in some symbolic way would be the icing on the cake for Voldemort, truly showing his triumph over Dumbledore and the rest of the Order.  

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Episode 206:

In this episode, we discuss the new Harry Potter documentary about stunts. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
·      Listen to episode 205, QuizMaster: DA Edition here!

·      3:14 Is it going to be happy or sad? A shown in the trailer, the day that he sustained his injury was one of it not the worst day on the Harry Potter set. This was a horrible tragedy and that isn’t going to be an overlooked fact. However, there is also a positive spin. He has such a network of family and friends, and now, though he can’t do the work that he loves, he bounced back and now enjoys life to the fullest. 

·      7:40 Would the films be possible without stunts? Probably not. The stunts are the things that bring the films to life; jumping off cliffs and doing crazy things are what shows us how fantastical the world is. Combined with the magic, stunts are the core of the films. They certainly wouldn’t be the same without stunts. 

·      13:45 Who is the Tom Cruise? My mind jumps to Rupert Grint. He would ask to do a stunt all by himself, and the studio would then have to train him for days to do just this one thing. He would see it as a challenge and fun activity to take up.

·      19:03 What is my favorite stunt? Without a doubt, it is when Harry is hanging off the rooftop in the Triwizard Tournament as the dragon claws nearer and nearer. It is so intense and we’re really living the scene, and without the stunt of dangling from the roof and then grabbing the broom just has he falls, and putting the broom under himself and zooming away.  

·      22:36 What is the purpose of this documentary? In short, it is to shed light on the behind-the-scenes aspects of the story, as well as to give credit to a department that was integral to the creation of the films. David Holmes has a very unique path, and this documentary is going to show how much his life was affected by Harry Potter, but also how he managed to pull out of it and make the most of his life.

·      26:07 Are there going to be more things like this? Absolutely! 

The fan base of Harry Potter is still very much alive, and there any many people out there who would be delighted to watch more Harry Potter content. There are still so many people who we haven’t seen and so many stories that still haven’t been told.

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Episode 205:

In this episode, we test our knowledge on Dumbledore’s Army. Enjoy!

Summary/Topics:
·      1:53 Warm Up Round

·      4:21 Question 1

·      7:54 Question 2

·      12:36 Question 3

·      16:48 Question 4

·      22:12 Question 5

·      25:17 Question 6

·      27:47 Question 7

·      30:17 Challenge Question

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Episode 204:

In this episode we discuss some of the best Fred and George moments. Enjoy!

Summary/Topics:
·      1:58 “He’s not Fred, I am!” This scene takes place in the first book in King’s Cross station. This is a good display of banter between them, and this was one of the first examples we have of their characters. They aren’t afraid of pulling someone’s leg while making a joke. This establishes their place as the jokers of the family and puts them very close. It shows the closeness of the two.

·      8:12 Gred and Forge. This scene takes place in the first Christmas as Hogwarts, showing that the twins like to tease Ron. They also know how make a good joke in passing, and the fleetingness comes across in the text. As we read, the words on the page become an image in our heads, and this scene is a fantastic example of their perfect comedic timing.

·      13:16 Giving Filch a box of chocolate. Umbridge was getting close to the Dumbledore’s Army, so Fred and George had to find a way to get Filch off the scent. They gave him a box of chocolates that turned out to be less than friendly.

·      16:58 Fireworks. This is my favorite Fred and George moment. It is the ultimate spit in the face to Umbridge and timed perfectly. Umbridge gets what she deserves and the school gets a good show. They depart Hogwarts in style and make a mark. Even Flitwick was happy. That was the one moment where the teachers were thrilled to say that Fred and George were some of the worst trouble makers the school had ever seen.

·      23:02 The Age Line. Dumbledore said no one should try and cross the age line that he drew around the Goblet of Fire. Fred and George took that as the perfect opportunity to do just that. The gold represented a leg up for their family and a chance to get back on top. They had a dream to open up a joke shop and begin making money for themselves. 

·      27:39 “But if we’re not careful we’ll have another Head Boy in the family. I don’t think I could stand the shame.” This is exactly what we would expect one of them to say. The Head Boy stands for the Administration, everything that Fred and George try and take down. 

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Episode 203:

In this listener submitted episode, we discuss if Harry and Hermione could have ever been romantically involved.  Enjoy!
 
Summary/Topics:
·      1:31 Harry is too committed to Cho in the books. They went on actual dates and spent more time together. In the book it was more involved and long lived. They stayed together long enough to know that it wasn’t a casual thing. With Cho in Harry’s life for so long, it made it more difficult for Harry to be with Hermione. 

·      9:14 Ginny and Harry had a serious relationship. By the time Harry had broken up with Cho, the time was ripe to get with Harry. And when they eventually did, it was too late for Harry’s view of Hermione to change. And the inception of Harry and Ginny also loosely marked the beginning of Ron and Hermione as well which closed all door that lead to romantics between Harry and Hermione.

·      14:59 There is more detail in the book. Harry didn’t have enough brain space to deal with multiple relationships on top of all the challenges he faced with Dumbledore and Voldemort. There was just too much going on in his life in the books for a relationship with Hermione to work. 

·      19:07 In the film, Harry didn’t have a nearly as involved relationship with Cho. They trade glances, they kiss, and then Cho tattles on the DA and that’s that. Short lived. After they broke up, the hole that was left in Harry’s heart could have been more easily filled by a relationship with Hermione. 

·      22:08 There is less detail in the film. This gets a bit difficult to discuss because the story and all the problems are the same. There are just fewer layers for Harry and Hermione to deal with, and that might lead to an easier time getting closer together. Ron is someone who might prevent this. Ron in the film is more petty and he might not take to Harry and Hermione’s relationship as kindly as in the book. Maybe it’s written in the stars that there is no chance that they will ever be together. 

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Episode 202:

In this episode, we discuss different Greek myths that appear in Harry Potter. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
·      2:25 The Basilisk and Medusa. Medusa has snakes for hair and the basilisk is a snake. They both petrify with their eyes. But what would happen if they looked into each other eyes? There’s no way to know for sure, but Medusa was die instantly and the basilisk would begin to petrify but would live because Medusa would die for it could turn to stone entirely. 

·      8:33 Hermione. Hermione was the daughter of Helen of Troy, and there are some parallels in their love lives. Hermione of Troy was set to marry Orestes, her cousin, but during the Trojan War, she was instead promised to Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles. They got married, but he was soon killed and Hermione could marry Orestes in piece. This resembles Hermione Granger’s experience was Cormac McLaggen and Ron? No one dies, but it takes a war for Hermione of Troy to finally be with Orestes, and so it does for Ron and Hermione. Read more here.

·      15:01 Professor McGonagall and Minerva. Minerva was the ancient Roman goddess of wisdom and defensive war. She also looks over metal work, pottery, and using materials for good. McGonagall did just this when she cast Piertotem Locomotor and brought the statues to life.

·      18:26 Quirrell and Janus. Janus was the Roman god of beginnings and endings, gateways and entrances. He is sometimes called Janus Quirinus which also happens to be Quirrell’s first name. Janus has two heads as well, with one head telling the truth and the other not. Sound familiar?

·      22:42 Fluffy and Cerberus. Cerberus was a giant three headed dog that guarded the Underworld. Fluffy is a giant three headed dog that guarded the Sorcerer’s Stone. This is a simple one. 

·      24:56 Trelawney and Cassandra. Cassandra was a Trojan princess who was cursed by Apollo to be able to see the future but never be believed. That already sounds like someone we know. We also know that Trelawney has a great-great-grandmother named Cassandra. Maybe sight runs in the family.  

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Episode 201:

In this episode, we discuss if Harry and Hermione would have reached as great heights is Ron wasn’t with them. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
·      1:53 What role does Ron play? There isn’t a single word that can sum up Ron’s role in the story. A lot of what he does is away from the spotlight, and that is also the reason why he gets into the occasional spat with Harry. He is constantly out of the spotlight in his own family, and being with the chosen one can’t help. To put words to it, Ron is a shoulder for Harry and Hermione to lean on and he acts as an ally for the day to day. Ron can also act as Ron’s therapist because of their long talks and how close they are.

·      8:54 Ron’s strengths. If there are strengths that Ron has that the other two do not, then there might be a case to make. One of his strengths is his loyalty. When Goyle is destroying the Room of Requirement, Ron is the first to run after him to protect his friends. Another one of his strengths that is irreplicable is his knowledge of the wizarding world. Neither Harry nor Hermione grew up in the magical world and they don’t have the off the cuff knowledge that would give the other two the upper hand. Ron is also a helping hand to Harry as mentioned. He is a backboard for Harry’s ideas and a wall to lean on.

·      15:19 Weaknesses. Ron’s big weakness is he lets the little things get in his head and trip him up. While he was camping in the woods with Harry and Hermione, Ron didn’t eat very good food and that really ruined his life. When Harry is entered into the Tri-Wizard Tournament, Ron was too angry at Harry for not telling him how he did it to stop and think how Harry would be the last person to enter.

·      19:09 Would Harry or Hermione miss Ron the most? It depends which book. In the books before the trio goes off on their own, Harry is the one who would miss Ron the most because they are very close friends. When Ron and Hermione grow closer in the seventh book, Hermione might feel even worse about Ron’s disappearance because that is when they became romantically involved.

·      24:41 Would they go on? Let’s split it in two parts. First, would they be able to make it through Hogwarts? Probably not. Ron is a big help to Harry in Hogwarts and he and Ron are also very close. Now, would Harry and Hermione be able to find all the horcruxes and defeat Voldemort? Most likely. Ron is important, but many of the things that he does are only a negative on the group. There are certainly moments where he isn’t the biggest help, and Harry and Hermione might make it through.

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Episode 200 (yay):

This week marks 200 episodes and three years of this podcast. I would not have been able to do any of this without your continued support, and for that I thank you all. Here’s to another 200!

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Episode 199:

In this episode, we discuss some additions to the story that would help out a bunch. Enjoy!

Summary/Topics:
·      2:22 More accessible portkeys. Portkeys are effective, but they take too long to set up and aren’t a quick us. They take time to set up and advanced planning. If you’re running down an alley with snatchers on your tail, the last thing you’re thinking of is a portkey. How convenient would it be to have a smaller device that can be used at moment’s notice?

·      7:13 Making quidditch pitches safer. Falling of your broom and falling to your death is a fairly likely outcome of quidditch, which we saw Harry do in the third book. If Dumbledore wasn’t there, Harry might have gotten really hurt. Making charms that soften the field is a great innovation, or even just stationing wizard on the ground to make sure there are no kids freefalling through the air.

·      14:42 More advanced security at Gringotts. In the first book, the goblin saw Harry’s key and brough them to his vault. That seems so easy. A better system to would be to put more security in place. People would be scanning all those who enter the bank. They would have to prove their identity with veritaserum, then they would be taken to their vault.

·      23:08 A secret list. A place for someone to keep their thoughts where no one could get to. Neville left a list of passwords on his bedside table, which is how Sirius got them and opened the tower. There is a lot of use for a device that would do this.

·      25:29 Self-spelling wands. “We’re no closer to catching Sirius Black than inventing self-spelling wands.” Arthur Weasley said that in the third book before the Ministry caught Sirius, so if they did that, why not self-spelling wands?

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Episode 198:

In this episode, we put Hermione and Bellatrix head to head. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
Episode 198:

·      1:03 Why these two?

·      4:04 Hermione’s Strengths and weaknesses

·      11:45 Bellatrix strengths and weaknesses

·      19:42 Malfoy Manor duel

·      24:47 Battle of Hogwarts duel

·      27:43 Flat plane duel

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Episode 197:

In this episode, we discuss what could have happened if Dumbledore joined Grindelwald. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
·      2:00 The Harry Potter story wouldn’t happen. Dumbledore is the person that sets pretty much everything in the books into motion, so without him, there is a fairly low chance that the story would play out like it did or even happen at all. Dumbledore hired all the teachers and is the one who oversees the everyday.

·      6:11 There’s no Voldemort. Dumbledore was the one who went to visit Tom at the orphanage and set him on his path to Hogwarts and then into evil. Even if Tom managed to get to Hogwarts by some other method, Dumbledore was the main factor that pushed Tom at Hogwarts, so without him, Tom can shine as a star student and might not have to be Voldemort at all. 

·      11:22 Hogwarts is not the same. Dumbledore was one of the greatest headmasters Hogwarts had ever seen. He put in place many different rules and ensured that it was a safe and helpful place for students and staff. And though any other headmaster would try to do the same thing, no one could match Dumbledore. And once he and Grindelwald took control of Hogwarts, there might be a descend into dark magic.

·      16:57 Dumbledore and Grindelwald likely have control of the entire world, and they’re probably in a relationship. They fall out because they have a violent split of views, but if that doesn’t happen and they join with each other instead, they would become the most powerful people in the world and wouldn’t hesitate to seize control.

·      21:16 Grindelwald likely has the Elder Wand. Dumbledore and Grindelwald duel in 1945 (making that event the climax of they’re rivalry) and Dumbledore wins, taking control of the Elder Wand and putting Grindelwald away. But if they never become enemies and never have a duel, there is no reason why Grindelwald can keep the Elder Wand.

·      24:28 Together, they are the most powerful wizards in history. If they are both dabbling in evil, there are no morals holding them back. Dumbledore was the most powerful wizard in the world without using dark magic, so to think that he wouldn’t have anything holding them back would mean that his power would know no limits. 

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Episode 196:

In this episode we test our knowledge on quidditch. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:

·       2:56 Warmup

·      4:40 Question 1

·      8:51 Question 2

·      14:56 Question 3

·      19:54 Question 4

·      22:55 Question 5

·      25:56 Question 6

·      29:05 Question 7

·      31:42 Challenge Question: What is cobbing?

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Episode 195:

In this episode we discuss if I achieved my goals for my second trip to Leavesden. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
·      Listen to episode 190, “I’m Going Back to the Harry Potter Studios”

·      1:14 Did I take my time? Absolutely. I was going at a snail’s pace through the entire place. I read and watched everything I possibly could and took in every piece of information that was available. I learned a lot about what I was seeing, valuing information over seeing the sights. Group after group was passing me, and an unforeseen benefit was that fact that because I was going so slow, I had some moments alone. I took my time and it paid off.

·      10:42 I also went back to see the rest. It might have been almost better than the first time. Though nothing can beat the feeling of turning a corner and seeing an something iconic, though this time around it was pretty cool. A photo can’t capture seeing it in real life, so my expectations were at the level of a photo. So when I got to see it all again in real life, the magic came rushing back.

·      16:02 There were some new things. I thought the opposite was going to be true, but it turned out that more had been added and open since my last visit. There were some areas outside like the greenhouses that I hadn’t seen before that were just as amazing.

·      20:54 Did anything really change? Though there were some new elements to the place, the soul of the Studios has stayed exactly the same. All the things I saw last time were there in addition to the new things, and I could really see the spirit of the films despite the changes. 

·      25:13 Would I go back? It’s pretty simple. Without a doubt. There is little that can top something like that and though there may be many years in between now and later, I will try my best to get back. Someday. 

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Episode 194:

In this episode, we discuss what the story would look like if it was told from different perspectives. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:

·      2:23 Ron Weasley. Ron is very close to Harry and he has seen everything Harry has. Ron has been by Harry’s side for the entire story and he certainly has his own view on things. Next to Harry, Ron is considered number two which he doesn’t like. Ron is the youngest in his family and he’s afraid that he might not be as valued as he might be. Seeing the world from his eyes would be very interesting. It would also be valuable to see his relationship from Hermione from the inside and understand this triangle better.

·      8:15 Hermione Granger. If Ron’s in here, it goes without saying that Hermione should also have her story told. In the beginning of the story, Hermione was third wheeling and might have felt on the outside, and though that may have changed later on in the books, she still may have felt like Harry and Ron had a closer bond. She is also a muggle born which would have made her story more interesting. How would her parents have reacted? Many questions unanswered.

·      12:56 Albus Dumbledore. Dumbledore has plans upon plans. He has a web of ideas that he has been carefully planning for many years. Someone that close to the story and someone who thinks that deeply would be fascinating to read through. We have zero idea about what Dumbledore was really thinking at any point in the story, so seeing into just one thought would be amazing.

·      17:15 Severus Snape. Snape’s childhood and time at Hogwarts would be one of the most interesting things about Snape’s life. We could learn more about Snape’s motivations and why he grew up to be the person who he did. It would also be cool to see a behind the scenes on his time as a middleman for Dumbledore and Voldemort. Finally, we want to see how his feelings towards Harry changes and how he begins to see Lily more and more.

·      22:07 Draco Malfoy. Draco is another character that would amazing to understand more about. He is Harry’s nemesis in Hogwarts and the one who Harry hates the most for a time. We might be able to understand more about him and his actions if we could see more of his childhood and moving into his time with Voldemort. 

·      25:00 Voldemort. How different would the story be if we were to see it through Voldemort’s slits. Seeing how he rules with fear and death and where that came from would be a staple of his story. Even going as far back as to Tom Riddle Sr. days and how he grew up without love and care, and how he developed his power.

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Episode 193:

In this episode, we discuss if the music of Harry Potter fits the picture. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
·      Listen to episode 123, the Music of Harry Potter here!

·      1:53 Yes. It is a very simple answer, so it may be better to work backwards from the answer than analyze the evidence and try to come up with an answer. We already know the answer to the question and just about every member of the fandom agrees that the score is fantastic.

·      6:16 The composers knew what they were doing. The composers that worked on the films are household names at this point. They’ve had decades of experiences that all fed into Harry Potter. They also worked very closely with the directors so both of their visions could align.

·      9:32 Themes. The themes in the story are really what sets these pieces apart and helps us interpret scenes. The Prisoner of Azkaban and both Deathly Hallows really stand out as using themes very well. Lily’s theme in the Deathly Hallows and A Window into the Past theme in the Prisoner of Azkaban are two themes that really stand out in both of the films that are used many times throughout the film and convey a huge amount of emotion. The music also uses silence to connect scenes like when the trio escaped Gringotts on the dragon and they jumped into the water. The music is quiet for Voldemort and for Harry which shows the connection between the two characters that we as the audience don’t even know yet. 

·      17:51 The music works with the film. This comes from the composer and director working together. We can really see their working relationship and the time and money they invested into the soundtrack. It sounds like the two were developed together and work in harmony. The music doesn’t take center stage, and yet it adds a depth to the story.

·      21:49 The score is magical. Yeah. What I mean by that is the score uses effects and instruments that add a certain magicality to it. We hear things that aren’t in a traditional orchestra that add a bizarre element, like the celeste used for Hedwig’s theme and all the chimes and effect. 

·      25:16 We heard the score so many times, we cannot see the films with any other music. Every time we hear the music or watch the film, we’re hearing the music that we have been listening to for 20 years. It is engrained in our brains and sounds like the only music that can ever be in Harry Potter.

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Episode 192:

In this episode, we discuss some of Ginny Weasley’s best moments. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
·      1:49 “Have you seen my jumper?”. This first scene isn’t exactly a show of strength or intelligence, but it is a fantastic benchmark for Ginny’s later relationship with Harry. It gives us good perspective to see how they started out with Ginny not being able to stay in the same room to married much later on.

·      5:09 Ginny tries to tell Harry and Ron about the Chamber of Secrets. Ginny was very much outside her comfort zone and put herself out there to try and tell Harry and Ron about her secrets and her relationship with Tom. She plucked up the courage as a first year to come forward against everything Tom was telling her and tell the truth. She had the power to take the whole operation down, and even though she didn’t, if Percy hadn’t taken her seat, she just might have. 

·      9:43 “Reducto!”. This is Ginny’s moment. She’s a fourth year at this point and has learned some pretty substantial magic. She goes to the Ministry with Harry, and the Death Eaters corner them. Ginny steps up and casts her mean Reducto and takes the entire hall down. It is a fantastic moment! We can see her confidence and power shine.

·      13:44 Fighting Bellatrix. Ginny holds her ground ageist Bellatrix and though she might not have any chance of really beating her and Molly has to step up, Ginny didn’t run. She didn’t turn her back, instead she held her ground and fought.

·      17:04 Crashes into Zacharias Smith after a quidditch match. Not only is this just a fantastic moment for her, but it shows her confidence. She came from being quiet and shy to making a spectacle in front of the entire school. She wasn’t afraid to draw eyes and make a statement. 

·      21:13 Standing up to Malfoy in the bookstore. Malfoy is the big bad bully, and even in her young state, she isn’t afraid to stand up to him when he threatens her family and friends.

·      24:44 Hiding Advanced Potion Making. When Harry got his hands on a dark book, Ginny didn’t like it from the beginning. She put her foot down, and even though she knows that Harry wants it, but if he keeps it the risk will outweigh the reward. If he kept the book, there was a real chance that he could have gotten hurt. He almost killed Malfoy! She saw a problem and solved it.

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Episode 191:

In this episode, we discuss if the first book of the Harry Potter was a fitting beginning to the series. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
·      1:38 Did Dumbledore make the right choice? This is a big topic and it is difficult to pin down a single answer. This was one of the only options because if he brought Harry to an orphanage, he might have become the new Voldemort. Luckily, he didn’t bring Harry to an orphanage, but the choice then becomes which family does he bring him to. But if McGonagall told him horror stories about the Dursleys, why would Dumbledore send him there? Well, his mother’s protection applies at 4 Privet Drive. And for that reason, we can say that Dumbledore made the right decision.

·      8:01 Do we get properly introduced to the characters? This is a much easier decision. We get a great introduction to all of the characters and though we don’t get to see all that much of each one, but despite that we get a window into each of the people that will become main characters later in the story. Harry is the only characters that we don’t fully meet in my opinion. We don’t see his bravery or any of the other traits that make him the person we later get to know.

·      13:13 It would have been great to see Harry to more magic. I know he did vanish the glass, but its more difficult to make the connection that its Harry. We don’t know Harry’s a wizard and it would be difficult to put two and two together. The vanishing spell is pretty advanced, and we’re basing our entire knowledge of the wizarding world on this one interaction.

·      17:34 It was a good choice to begin the story with Mr. Dursley instead of Harry. He knows the same amount about magic than us, so it is a great contrast between  the muggle world and the magical one. He sees owls and wizards in the streets, and we can appreciate how strange it is along with him. Magic stands out much more when looking through Mr. Dursley’s eyes that Harry. Of course, it is a strange thing, but Mr. Dursley finds it even more alien. 

·      21:29 Hagrid was a good liaison into the magical world. Hagrid is close enough to a normal person that muggles would look twice, but he is still a bit odd. He also knows how to talk to muggles and there’s nothing terribly magical about him so he can blend in. If Dumbledore apparated into the middle of the cottage and starts pulling out his magical watches and maps and all that stuff, the Dursleys would have a heart attack. Hagrid is also a good person and Dumbledore knew that he would become good friends with the trio.

·      26:58 Was the first book a fitting beginning to Harry Potter? Absolutely! It may not be 100% perfect, but this book is a positively fantastic entry to the story beyond.  

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Episode 190:

In this episode, we discuss my plan for my return trip to the Harry Potter Studio Tour. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
·      2:04 See what I missed. I saw the big stuff, but what about everything else? There were so many little details that I completely missed that I want to use this opportunity to see again. This might be my last time ever being there, and I want to comb through and see every little thing. 

·      9:10 I don’t want to target the big attractions. The place is designed to see the big things and the little in between, but I did that already. Now I want to go through and focus on the little touches.

·      13:54 I want to take my time. Before, I was rushing through just trying to get through the whole thing and see everything. Now, I don’t want to blast through the entire thing and miss a lot of the things that I want to see. It’s going to be tough to slow down and appreciate every little detail, but it will help me see the full picture. 

·      19:13 Explore! The things that I want to see might not be out in the open, so turning down strange hallways and find the little cracks and crevices that have props that I have never seen. If I get lost, that will be a success. 

·      23:52 Did anything change? There are some seasonal changes to the attractions and though my hopes aren’t high because I’m going at a very similar time of year, there might be a prop that I didn’t see or something that was away for cleaning.

·      26:39 See EVERYTHING again! I might be trying to see new things and find the places I didn’t get the chance to, but seeing the huge amazing things are also going to be at the top of the list.

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Episode 189:

In this episode, we discuss which characters should be highlighted in the coming Harry Potter TV show. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
·      2:28 Dumbledore. We’ve seen Dumbledore a bunch in the story, and we have spent a lot of time with him in the story. However, we know very little about his childhood. We’ve heard about it and heard some of the things that happened, but talk is just talk. It would be very valuable to see what really happened in person instead of just being told. Dumbledore is a good person, but he had some dark days. He eventually left Grindelwald, but there was a moment where he could have turned down a dark path. What happened? That would be answered is we could learn more about him.

·      9:24 Snape. We see Snape as a dark and menacing teacher that has it out for Harry. It’s jarring to see Snape as a kid like in the occlumency lesson. Snape was severely bullied as a kid, and we could learn more about him if we were to see what really happened. Understanding more about how James was mean to him can give us a more sympathetic point of view on his treatment of Harry. He has a complicated life that we could benefit from seeing.

·      15:56 James and Lily (and Petunia). This is the other side of the Snape coin. We don’t know why James was such a bully. It may have been his early childhood, or his status in the school. It would be a great choice to include James. And of course, Lily is another part of the puzzle because a lot of the ill feelings between James and Snape comes from her, so seeing how she reacts will be another interesting part of the puzzle. We know Petunia later in the story a lot and seeing her too would be great.

·      20:55 Voldemort. Tom Riddle has an interesting childhood that would do well to have light shed onto it. We already got little Tom in the orphanage, but what about the cave? What about his time at Hogwarts and beyond? We hear about his ascent into evil and turning into Voldemort, but we never get anywhere near there in the story. Spending more time on Voldemort would mean understanding more about the horcruxes and seeing his thinking behind his life as a whole, something we desperately need. 

·      25:31 Draco. Draco had a very difficult childhood, and having a front row seat would help us understand more about Draco as a person. Lucius was pretty abusive and it bled over into his student life, so seeing how he throws us defenses and attacks without provocation could tell us a lot about him. 

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Episode 188:

In this episode, we break down the character of Cornelius Fudge. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:

·     2:06 Who is Cornelius Fudge? From the page on Fandom, we can deduce that he is either half-blood or pure-blood, he either Irish or British, and he is married. Most importantly, he was named most stylish wizard of the year in 1995. We don’t know that much about him, but the most important trait of his character is the fact that he was the Minister of Magic from 1990 – 96.

·      4:56 What role does he play in the story? This isn’t a strait forward answer because it changes. In the second book, he arrests Hagrid knowing he was innocent which isn’t really a good start. However, in the third book he was a nice guy and helped Harry out. In the fourth book, the Triwizard tournament was a factor that was unforeseen, and Fudge was worried that Harry was going to die. The fifth book was the time when he really became nasty. He didn’t believe that Voldemort was back and was stopping Dumbledore and Harry from fighting back. He really didn’t do much after that. 

·      13:16 What are his strengths? First, he knows how to handle being in the public eye. He has learned how to play the media. He is also a smart guy and he got the Minister position for a reason. Finally, he is empathetic, though it might not come through so well.

·      15:42 What are his weaknesses? The major one is he lets fear control him. He was too focused on making sure the population wouldn’t believe Dumbledore and Harry, and he was too caught up in the fear that Voldemort might return to see the truth: that he already had.

·      17:56 Was Fudge a positive or negative force? Throughout the years, he was swinging back and forth between positive and negative. Overall, however, he was a negative. He made Voldemort’s life so much easier by putting the Ministry between Dumbledore and his plans. 

·      24:10 What could he have done better? First, he should have trusted Dumbledore. Dumbledore was the person who knew the most and had all the answers, and Fudge refused to reach out. Image if Dumbledore had access to the power of the Ministry. Finally, Fudge was controlled by fear. He was terrified that Voldemort was really back, and that fear blinded him to the greater problem.

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Episode 187:

In this episode, we discuss the possible world of Harry being friends with Draco instead of Ron. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
·      1:40 What would be the day to day effects? The main difference would be his overarching schedule for the year. He used to go to the Burrow for Christmas, so he would probably go to Malfoy Manor instead. He also took very similar classes as Ron, so if he wasn’t friends with him, he may be taking different classes along with Draco and might not even find a love for Defense Against the Dark Arts. Harry and Draco would meet in Madame Malkin’s and their friendship would spiral out from there.

·      6:02 What house would Harry be in? The answer is pretty simple. He wants to be in Gryffindor because that’s the house that he heard from Hagrid and Ron that it was the best house to be in. If he was friends with Draco and was told good things about Slytherin instead, that is the house that he would choose. The Sorting Hat was pushing for Harry to be in Slytherin, so it would go without saying that if Harry wanted to be in Slytherin, it would happen.

·      10:37 Would Harry be a different person and would Dumbledore try to step in a put him right? Harry would certainly be a different person. He does have his own morals and traits, but being around Draco so much will defiantly have a big effect on him and his values will be shifted.  Because Harry would change so much, Dumbledore would absolutely step in and try to help Harry. He wants to find a way to befriend Harry, though he will find it more difficult. Slytherin Harry and Dumbledore are very different people, and Dumbledore will have to think very carefully about how he could go about gaining Harry’s trust.

·      17:05 How would Voldemort react? Like Dumbledore, Voldemort has a very carefully thought-out plan, and it is all based on Harry’s goodness and his being close with Dumbledore, so there are two possible outcomes. Voldemort might not change at all, still seeing the person would almost kill him and still try to kill him. Or he might try to gel Harry over to his side now that Harry is with the Malfoys.

·      21:38 Would the story drastically change? For sure. Harry’s entire life would change if this reality came to pass, and he would be a different person. His whole reality would change.

·      24:17 Would he every be set on the right path? This is difficult. To argue for no, we could say that once he’s on the dark path there is very little that could get him off. Now that he’s inducted into the dark side, it would be hard to get him out. To argue for yes, we could say that the goodness in Harry that being friends with Malfoy couldn’t shift would come through eventually and we would get our good Harry back. To answer the question, he absolutely could be put on the right path, but he wouldn’t. It would take a lot to shift him, and the events in the story that would don’t happen in the first place because of Harry being friends with Malfoy. Friends with the Malfoys forever!

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Episode 186:

In this episode, we discuss the most disappointing moments in Harry Potter. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
·      2:14 Ron and Hermione’s awkward interactions. In the café when they have to wipe the memory of one of the Death Eaters in the beginning of Deathly Hallows, Ron and Hermione have an oddly placed romantic moment that is quite a strange interaction between them. The scene when Ron tells Hermione she has toothpaste on her face at the Burrow in the Half Blood Prince, it is much more the right time and place.

·      6:15 Mad-Eye’s death. There wasn’t enough time spent on this moment even though he was such an influential and powerful character that played a huge role in the story. In the book, it is much more drawn out and somber. Lupin, on the other hand, had a final moment with Harry at the end and was much better than Mad-Eye.

·      10:49 Hedwig’s death. (Watch it here) This is one of the most impactful moments in the entire sequence, and we didn’t really have the chance to process what happened before we were thrown right back into the action and Voldemort is on the horizon. Hedwig is an iconic character that is a central to the magic of the story, and she was killed.

·      14:43 Dumbledore’s funeral. The book, this was a powerful moment and Dumbledore’s final goodbye to the world. The Minister, centaurs, even the people living in the lake showed up to pay their respects. But we didn’t get it in the film. Granted, there was a moment where all the students and staff raised their wands to say goodbye, but that could never replace a scene such as Dumbledore’s farewell.

·      20:14 The Great Hall scene in the Battle of Hogwarts. In the book, we had an epic sequence where Bellatrix and Voldemort were dueling multiple people and spells were flying everywhere, and eventually, Harry and Voldemort had a standoff and Voldemort was defeated. The only thing that could have made it better is for this scene to be in the film. It is poetic and very well structured, and frankly quite awesome.

·      25:01 Lupin’s transformation. This scene is plain old gruesome, and that is the sole reason why I don’t like it. His hands are growing claws and fur is sprouting from every part of his body. It is very well done, and that is why I don’t like.

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Episode 185:

In this episode, we discuss a duel between Harry Potter and Lucius Malfoy. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:

·      Listen to Dobby vs. Lucius here!

·      2:03 Why this particular match up? Well, while watching the Battle of the Order of the Phoenix this past week, I was left wanting a battle between Harry and Lucius, even though it seemed like a natural next step. They interacted a lot, but they never truly went head-to-head in a magical duel. It is an outcome that I am very curious to see, and one that I feel there should have been.

·      5:44 Harry’s strengths and weaknesses. His style is focusing on offence and not seriously hurting his opponent but removing their ability to duel. That is why he is such a fan of expeliarmus. Unfortunately, that gives him a big weakness. Harry might hesitate when delivering the final blow, or he might be dragged down by his aversion of causing pain to innocent people (Lucius isn’t that innocent, but he hadn’t done anything too horrible that would warrant death from Harry). 

·      12:25 Lucius’s strengths and weaknesses. One of his greatest strengths is his experience. He has been practicing magic for decades longer than Harry, and he is one of Voldemort’s core Death Eaters. However, when the pressure is put on, it becomes difficult for him to keep a cool head and keep his focus. We see him falling apart under Voldemort’s wrath, and when he loses control of a situation, he gets too worked up to see things clearly. But Lucius is very smart, and that is an asset that he will use a lot.

·      16:47 Scenario #1: The Order does show up and it is Lucius and Harry alone. We can assume that the final outcome of the battle will be similar, but Harry and Lucius have a little moment alone that will allow them to duel. In this situation, Lucius has the upper hand. He would toy and taunt Harry, and that might be Harry’s only chance to win. If he strikes when Lucius doesn’t expect it, it can be the thing that give Harry the edge. However, Lucius is unlikely to be caught by surprise and he will come out on top. 80% to Lucius, 20% to Harry.

·       23:18 Scenario #2: The Order does not show up and Harry’s friends are battling Lucius and the Death Eaters. There is more of a chance that the duel would become a 2v1 because the Death Eaters can more easily beat his friends, but the DA can also use the element of surprise to come out on top. However, assuming that Lucius and Harry are alone, Lucius would most likely win. He is older, more experienced, and more powerful. Overall, he is the better wizard.

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Episode 184:

In this episode, we discuss if Snape should have died. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:

·      1:29 No. Snape should not have died. The answer to this question isn’t the mystery and it isn’t a challenge to figure it out, we just have to explain what else he could have done and give reasons for everything that he could have done if he had lived.

·      5:02 He should have gotten the chance to get to know Harry better. Snape is one of the people that was working with Dumbledore the closest, and he knew a lot about the plan. Harry was questioning his relationship with Dumbledore at the time and Snape could have given them. Snape and Harry could have become truly good friends and helped each other in the post-Voldemort world.

·      S2 E14: Is Snape still alive?

·      13:29 Snape could have made peace with Lilly and James. Those two people were the people who caused him the most pain in the story by far. He has to come to terms with both of them to calm his mind. In the end, Snape actually wanted to make up with James, and the fact that he didn’t get the chance to make the whole situation worse. Of course, he was alive with James, and I think we would have made efforts after Voldemort to make his peace, but he didn’t ever get the chance.

·      Breakdown: Severus Snape

·      19:55 Snape died thinking the Voldemort was on his way to victory, which is just another reason why he should have lived. He went to such lengths to see Harry’s success, and he should have had the chance to see it.

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Episode 183:

In this episode, we discuss possible origins for well known magical ideas and wizarding practices. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
·      Listen to the episode where the challenge question came from here.

·      3:18 Why are spells in Latin? This is a simple answer. A plausible answer is that spells are in Latin because spoken magic was coming into being when and where Latin was popular. They used the words that made sense to them and conjured what they wanted. The Latin versions of spells have stayed around because casting a spell is an exact art, and it would be very difficult to move away from that without redesigning the entire magical system. 

·      9:05 Where did wands come from? This is a more difficult answer, as tracking the origins of a language are far easier than that of a wand. However, we can try. The basic explanation that makes sense to me is the shape of a wand just made sense. The shape that wands are is exactly how trees grow and it is very easy to find a wand-like twig. It is also natural, and it makes sense that the spell would come out of the end. A scene in the Half Blood Prince between Hagrid and Slughorn tells us that unicorn hair can get caught on bushes and trees and come out, which means that a lot of magical material in the woods surrounded by wand quality wood? It works. Not to mention a sign outside Olivander’s that says “Makers of fine wands since 382 B. C.”

·      15:41 An ulterior function of magical schools. Besides a place of education, magical schools are also the perfect place to act as a safe house for wizards in times of need. They are extremely well protected, with hundreds of spells protecting its every inch. Their locations are also kept secret, which is even more important. If a band of muggles were to stumble across Hogwarts, they would see a sign of warning and a rundown building. Very convenient. Harry’s year isn’t alerted because a threat like that hasn’t been around for a very long time. They don’t protect the location from Voldemort because he already knows where it is.

·      20:13 Why do wizards drink so much pumpkin juice? The UK produces millions of pumpkins every single year, and it would be suspicious to send millions of gallons of water to Hogwarts a year. Pumpkins, on the other hand, are less suspicious. However, it still might draw eyes, so they might just grow their own. Hagrid does, so why not the rest?

·      23:58 Why are muggle magic tricks so similar to real magic? Well, they came from the same exact thing. Wizards can show muggles low level magic and pass it off as good handwork, and muggles will buy it. The first muggle magic tricks evolved right around the same time and place as wizard magic. It makes a lot of sense for real wizards to be performing and inspiring the origins of muggle magic.  

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Episode 182:

In this episode, we test our knowledge on the Ministry of Magic. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:

·      Some of the information in this episode came from the Ministry of Magic page on Fandom. Thanks!

·      2:17 Warm up round.   

·      4:52 Question 1: How old is the Ministry?

·      10:14 Question 2: What is the succession of Ministers?

·      15:46 Question 3: What is the visitors entrance code? 

·      18:54 Question 4: On which level is the atrium? 

·      21:16 Question 5: What is the name, subject, and function of the fountain in the atrium? 

·      26:36 Question 6: How many levels are in the Ministry?

·      28:58 Question 7: What is the name for a magical jury?

·      30:46 Challenge Question: What is the name of the security guard? Tune in next week to hear the answer!

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Episode 181:

In this episode, we discuss the best classes in Hogwarts. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:

·      2:08 #8 Divination. What a surprise. Divination is a very specific skill that a very small amount of people can really use. Even true seers don’t have too many visions. Trelawney had about three in her entire life. Plus, she has a flair for the dramatic. Most of her class is spent predicting the death of Harry, which might be another reason why he doesn’t like it very much. Harry knows his time is somewhat limited, but it is unsettling for someone who can see the future tell you that death is in the future. Harry also doesn’t like how divination is opening the gap between him and Voldemort wider.

·      8:38 #7 History of Magic. History is a fascinating topic and magical history is even better, but Professor Binns makes the subject as dull as it could be. It is almost useless. If Binns put in the effort, there might be something there. But he doesn’t. 

·      13:05 #6 Astronomy. Though this is still not a great class, it is a bit better than the others on this list. Wizards can use the planets for more than just understanding more about science, however. Centaurs use the night sky to tell the future, which they did with one glance at Mars better than Trelawney did in all her years at Hogwarts.

·      17:28 #5 Transfiguration. It might seem low on this list, but transfiguration isn’t ever the center of magic ever in the story. It is a very specific kind of magic that can’t be applied to other areas of magic. That is also a plus, because in those moments where you need something specific, transfiguration might be the subject to use.

·      20:22 #4/Honorable Mention Herbology. Herbology is a slept-on subject that fades into the background which is why not a lot of people think about it. However, understanding plants is a very important part of all branches of magic and supports the areas that would otherwise collapse. 

·      21:53 #3 Potions. Potions are extremely powerful and has a wide range of skills. With the right potions, any battle can be won. However, there several drawbacks. They have to be prepared in advance, so you can’t just use an infinite supply. They also can wear off. Despite this, potions is still high on the list.

·      24:30 #2 Defense Against the Dark Arts. This is a fantastic class, even though there are some factors that change this. If there is no war, it isn’t as important. Also, if the teacher changes ever single year, it’s hard to get a well-rounded education. But even with all those reasons, DADA is still one of the most useful classes in Hogwarts.

·      28:06 #1 Charms. Charms is fantastic! All you need is a wand, it is fast, useful, and covers a wide range of subjects. The vast majority of spells that Harry uses in the story is learned in charms. There is also no cool down or preparation time before hand. They can also be very powerful, helping anyone with a good knowledge of charms class in a pinch.

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Episode 180:

Sooooo… yeah. I know I said there would be an episode this week, but unexpected events have come up and unfortunately I am yet again away from the studio. See you next week!

In this episode, we discuss Deathly Hallows, and if it was a good end to Harry Potter. Enjoy!

Topics:

  •  All the unanswered questions! We never found out what happened to Lavender Brown for sure after being attacked by Fenrir Greyback. We also never saw several characters again, like Fluffy or the flying car.
  • Was Dumbledore’s plan good? And if he didn’t exist, would the trio have still come out on top or would Voldemort have won? Dumbledore had a very large effect on the story, but the question is: was it good or bad?
  • Why did Harry make such a bad decision when it came to the Elder Wand? He broke it in the films without fixing his own wand or any of the castle, and just left it be in the books after the Battle of Hogwarts. Did it never occur to him that a random person might stumble upon the wand and another Voldemort would appear?
  • Much More!

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Episode 179:

In this episode, we discuss the new Harry Potter TV show. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
·      2:04 So what’s going on? We are still in the very early days of this announcement, so we don’t have a great idea of what’s going on. Here’s what we know so far: the timeline is very spread out. The first season isn’t going to be released for several years. As far as we know, there are going to be seven seasons with each season covering a book in the story. We should look to the future to see what comes next. 

·      6:08 What is the benefit of a TV show? We are going to be able to explore more of the wizarding world that we haven’t seen. Things like the Quidditch World Cup and SPEW and Peeves; things and people that we haven’t seen. The show will also be an opportunity to right the wrongs of diversity in the story. TL;DR There is very little. HBO will hopefully foster more diversity in the casting. There is also the issue of the signature Harry Potter things, like Harry’s scar, Hogwarts, and Hedwig’s Theme. It would be great for the show to branch out, but these themes are some of the things that keep the magic alive and create such a fantastic world. I would personally like to see some of the things like Hogwarts, filming location, and robes to be the same. One thing that would be great to see is classes. Really diving into a class and seeing how it works would be fascinating. Are they going to close Leavesden? Maybe. They could save a ton of money be reusing some of the things at Leavesden for the filming. It would be great to see some of this overlap, but they still shouldn’t rely on those original props to carry to show.

·      22:34 Is the show going to include more movie-isms or book-isms? I’ve been going back and forth, but scenes from the book seem to make the most sense. They show is going to have a lot more time per season to explore the story, so the things that were cut from the films because of time have no excuse to be cut from the show. They might also include things that weren’t in the book like Neville and Luna’s backstory and the duel between Dumbledore, Aberforth, and Grindelwald. There is an endless supply of questions to be answered that will make the story all the more magic. 

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Episode 178:

In this episode, we discuss the new Harry Potter TV show. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
·      2:04 So what’s going on? We are still in the very early days of this announcement, so we don’t have a great idea of what’s going on. Here’s what we know so far: the timeline is very spread out. The first season isn’t going to be released for several years. As far as we know, there are going to be seven seasons with each season covering a book in the story. We should look to the future to see what comes next. 

·      6:08 What is the benefit of a TV show? We are going to be able to explore more of the wizarding world that we haven’t seen. Things like the Quidditch World Cup and SPEW and Peeves; things and people that we haven’t seen. The show will also be an opportunity to right the wrongs of diversity in the story. TL;DR There is very little. HBO will hopefully foster more diversity in the casting. There is also the issue of the signature Harry Potter things, like Harry’s scar, Hogwarts, and Hedwig’s Theme. It would be great for the show to branch out, but these themes are some of the things that keep the magic alive and create such a fantastic world. I would personally like to see some of the things like Hogwarts, filming location, and robes to be the same. One thing that would be great to see is classes. Really diving into a class and seeing how it works would be fascinating. Are they going to close Leavesden? Maybe. They could save a ton of money be reusing some of the things at Leavesden for the filming. It would be great to see some of this overlap, but they still shouldn’t rely on those original props to carry to show.

·      22:34 Is the show going to include more movie-isms or book-isms? I’ve been going back and forth, but scenes from the book seem to make the most sense. They show is going to have a lot more time per season to explore the story, so the things that were cut from the films because of time have no excuse to be cut from the show. They might also include things that weren’t in the book like Neville and Luna’s backstory and the duel between Dumbledore, Aberforth, and Grindelwald. There is an endless supply of questions to be answered that will make the story all the more magic. 

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Episode 177:

Hey everyone! I’m sorry to say I did not get to the studio this week, so the episode is a rerun of episode 159. 

In this episode, we talk about the main theme of Harry Potter. Enjoy!

Topics/ Summary:

·     2:40 Why does the main theme of the story matter? The theme of the story is the core element that it needed to understand the plot and characters and give us a better view of the story. We have a better grasp on the different events, the climax, and why different characters do what they do. 

·     6:31 J. K. Rowling said the main theme of the story is death. Does that make sense? Essentially, yes. Death is described as not the end, but the beginning of another great adventure. Harry sees his parents and Sirius and Dumbledore long after they died. This theme applies to may different aspects of the story, but death is not the only message in the story.

·     12:07 What are other main messages in the story? Love and friendship are the obvious ones, but what are some others? The inner struggle also takes a front seat. Harry struggles with Voldemort possibly possessing him in the Order of the Phoenix and beyond shows this. One of the main story lines in the fifth book was Harry trying to escape Voldemort. The value of working together was also highlighted. Harry was rarely working alone. He always stood united with his friends. Voldemort is the opposite, working with his supporters in much more of a cold relationship. The final theme that I saw was the “you’ll be fine” mentality. Harry learns very little information in the beginnings of the story, and only knows the full story at the very end of the story. Did the world collapse? It was close, but no. 

·      20:54 Which characters have the authority to make a theme out of a message? There are three scenarios: single person, multi-person, and prolonged single person. The first example (single person) is the least common. This is when a message is already present, and a character points it out. Multi-person is the most common. This is when many people join a movement or commit an act of make a statement that has lots of repercussions. Single person prolonged is the final example. This is when a single person will create the theme themselves over many years, doing the same things and helping the same people, creating a dynamic that allows for a theme to grow.

·     26:01 Do characters or events create themes? Both! One or more characters should be performing an act over a long period of time or do something so monumental it has lasting effects. 

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Episode 176:

In this episode, we discuss magic outside of Hogwarts. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
·      2:00 Why should Hogwarts students end their education at 17? 11-17 is a pretty wide range, but they would gain so much more value from more magical schooling. There may be an element of diminishing returns, but it can’t diminish so far that going further would be a waste. Just think how valuable it would be to have other schools in the UK like universities for magic that would specialize in different areas like in the muggle world. Wizards would be more prepared than ever to take on the world and they would have a skill set that Hogwarts can’t give them.  

·      9:36 Can’t students go abroad? Hogwarts isn’t the only magical school in the world, and it seems a simple thing to go to a different school before and/or Hogwarts. It would be great for wizards to learn about different parts of the world before they start their formal education. It is a simple next step to take a simple journey and see a different part of the world and have a completely new layer of knowledge to add to education in your home country that would add such vibrancy to magic as a whole. 

·      14:44 There are different kinds of magic in different places. For example, in Uagadou, a magic school in Africa, magic with the hands in far more popular. They are very well versed in Astronomy, Alchemy, and self-Transfiguration. The young students in Africa are chosen in an interesting way as well. A Dream Messenger will appear to a child in a dream and give them a token. That child will wake up with the same token in their hand, and they have been chosen to go to Uagadou.

·      21:10 The expectation of what happens after school is also different. In Hogwarts, you graduate at 17 and get a job. But in different parts of the world, students might graduate at a very different time and have a contrary experience. They might travel around the world and learn skills that they would need to then pick up a job. At Mahoutokoro, a Japanese school on top of a mountain, students begin at age 7 during the day and begin to board at 11. They begin a lot earlier than Hogwarts and might have a much more solid base of education when they eventually do get more serious.

·      25:23 Skills that wizards need in different places dictate what they learn. Every place is different and there are many different specialties and requirements that people need for different climates and situations that change what they learn and how they learn to live.  

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Episode 175:

In this episode, we discuss the wonderful traits of Jacob Kowalski. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
·      2:12 Jacob is a good person. That single fact drives his entire character. He is a fantastic companion and friend to Newt. Newt has always been on the outs of society and has had trouble finding friends. But with Jacob, Newt had no trouble at all fitting in. Jacob was also a good support system for Newt. Jacob is the living representation of “we must always make the choice between what is right and what is easy”. When Lally came to the bakery in the Secrets of Dumbledore, Jacob made the decision to go with her and help save the world even though he knew it could be the end of him as well.

·      8:18 Jacob helps even though he isn’t a wizard. He can’t cast spells or take part in duels, but he still aids in other ways. For example, he helped Newt find the erumpent in Central Park. Without Jacob Newt wouldn’t have found the erumpent and might still be looking for it today. Jacob also was the thrower of the bug in the teapot in the Macey’s department store. He also helps Newt in his case with all the magical creatures. He may not be a wizard, but Jacob can still help out.

·      12:49 Jacob understands people. One thing in particular sets his understand apart from everyone else. That is his attempts at getting Newt and Tina together. Jacob can see they’re perfect together and they should be together, so he tries to urge Newt to make an effort to show his affection for Tina. 

·      16:58 Jacob’s branding is on point. There is a distinct set of trademarks the Jacob has that make him the person we know and love. Dan Fogler delivers his lines in such a charming way that really shows the person behind Jacob. Jacob also has a fantastic musical motif associated with his person. He also has a great set of lines. From “Hey Mr. English Guy. I think you egg is hatching!” to “That’s me. I’m the pan.”, Jacob has awesome lines the put a great spin on the story.

·      25:42 Jacob can handle magic. That is a quality that a muggle like him could dearly use. Though he may have not been so happy about it in the beginning, he developed a tolerance for spells flying left and right. The story would be very different if he was terrified of just the simplest spell.

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Episode 174:

In this episode, we discuss some of the more confusing aspects of Fantastic Beasts. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
·      1:50 Yusuf Kama. He was introduced later in the story and seemed to play a strange role in the story. I wasn’t sure which side he was on for the entire film and I’m still not completely sure. Another thing that made him so confusing is how he was trying to tell us the true background to Credence when his entire story wasn’t the truth. Now that we know that Credence is actually a Dumbledore, it makes Kama’s story all the more confusing because it plays no part in the story and its existence has become pointless. 

·      7:04 Tina Goldstein. Tina was a fantastic character in the first film with multiple layers and was a true 3D character. However, that didn’t last. In the very next film, Tina became this dark and depressed person who wore long trench coats and had a different hair style. It was further exaggerated in the third film when Tina seemed to return from the dark and was still kept away from the story. Why? It’s strange that a main character just disappeared, and we never saw her again for the longest time. What is going on with Tina?

·      12:51 Couldn’t the obliviating rain have missed someone? It must have. An umbrella worked to keep the rain away from Queenie, so what about the muggles who put up an umbrella. And the aurors were walking around in the open air and they were just fine? What if someone just stayed inside and didn’t take a shower or a drink of water? It would be such a simple to fix this problem, yet we got no more information. 

·      18:53 Why didn’t Newt’s case get all shaken up? And how it is so big? Newt runs around and does all these crazy things holding his case. How does all his stuff stay the same? And it seems far too big. It is absolutely huge. An entire world exists inside of that little case. And there are some extension charms within in case, so could you just keep on extending until you had an entire planet? This is far too big a plot hole to be ignored. 

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Episode 173:

In this episode, we break down the character of Severus Snape. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
·      Huge thanks to Leona Dolfie who submitted a fascinating theory about Grindelwald’s skull. If you want to submit any questions, comments, or theories, you can email it to thepotterdiscussion@gmail.com.

·      2:57 Who is Snape? He was born on January 9th, 1960. He died on May 1st, 1998. Snape grew up in a rather depressing area, but he did have a friend. Lily. Lily had no idea about the magical world and wanted someone to tell her about it, and Snape wanted a friend. They were perfect for each other. They both went to Hogwarts together, but they drifted apart after Snape slipped and called Lily a mud blood. They never made up. 

·      8:32 What is Snape’s role in the story? There might be a fancy English term that could get close to describing him, but he is too much of a complex character to be fully encompassed in a single term. He played both sides while fighting for only fighting for himself. There is an art to what he does and the things he says. He is way bigger than a single role in the story. He is a 3D character for sure. He fights for so many things and so many people, there is no way we can call him just one kind of hero. 

·      13:42 How would the story be different without him? First, Voldemort would have won and there is nothing they could do about it. Harry would have gotten captured far earlier, Dumbledore would have been killed, and there would have been no hope. Dumbledore would have tried to make a plan without Snape, but Snape’s position as a trusted advisor of Voldemort. Harry also wouldn’t be as good a wizard. We can lose sight of how good a wizard and teacher Snape was because of how mean he was to Harry. Come to think of it, Harry would be dead without Snape. Think of the first book. Quirrell was trying to kill Harry in the quidditch match, and Snape stopped him. Without Snape, Harry would have died.

·      21:40 What is his motivation? Obviously, his love for Lily is paramount. However there are others. When James died, Snape felt bad. Not for James, but about the fact that he died thinking Snape hated him. It was true, but Snape felt like he owed him. So Snape decides to protect Harry in his first year at Hogwarts. He did, and Harry lived. Snape went back to hating James’ memory. After a while, another motivation starts to evolve. He begins to care about Harry. Snape saw Lily’s son in Harry and wanted to protect him for the person he was.

·      26:32 Is Snape a good person? Is he trustworthy? Of course, we know that Snape is a good person. But is he trustworthy? Know it gets a little more complicated. This is the root of his character. At his core, he is trying to protect, avenge, and remember Lily Evens. So technically, he is loyal to Lily. If Voldemort decided to protect Lily, Snape would have been loyal to him. So is he really that trustworthy after all?  

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Episode 172:

In this episode, we discuss the downfall of Cornelius Fudge. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
·      2:09 The downfall of Cornelius Fudge. His reign began pretty well. The economy was stable and the secret of magic was safe. However, that didn’t stay. Once Voldemort began to creep back into the picture, Fudge fell apart. He was alright in the first book, but when the Chamber of Secrets opened, he was under fire. He arrested Hagrid just to show the world that he was doing something. In Prisoner of Azkaban, they can’t catch Sirius Black for the life of them. Fudge is panicked and he put everything they could on the case. It does eventually work, but Sirius then escaped, and they never saw him away. So, he was already set up for failure in the Goblet of Fire. The dark mark was cast at the Quidditch World cup and the world goes into a panic. Fudge denies Voldemort’s return as much as he can and convinces himself that Voldemort is gone. How wrong he is.

·      12:35 Fudge didn’t listen to Dumbledore. This was really the final nail in the coffin. Dumbledore is the one of the most powerful wizards in the world and the only person Voldemort feared. Fudge knew this and was writing to Dumbledore early on in his career. The times became good, and Fudge stopped writing. When evil came back, Fudge still believed Voldemort was gone, scared that the dark days would return. Dumbledore could see his crumble, so he sent envoys to the giants and pretty much became the Minister. There is a direct correlation between listening and the times going well, and not listening to him and times going bad. 

·      19:21 Fudge was far too controlled by fear. Fear dictated his entire life after the Prisoner of Azkaban, and it prevented him from seeing the truth. He had the facts in front of him and simply ignored them. He did everything he could to make sure the world thought Voldemort wasn’t back, as if that would kill Voldemort again. If he had just done one single thing right, they would have stood a chance. But he didn’t and Voldemort returned. Fudge acted too late and didn’t do what he was supposed to. By the time Fudge finally realizes what was really happening, it was too late.

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Episode 171:

In this episode, we discuss whether the Defense Against the Dark Arts job is cursed. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
·      This episode was submitted by a listener! If you want your idea featured on the show, send it in to thepotterdiscussion@gmail.com.

·      2:14 A history of Defense Against the Dark Arts (DADA) teachers. First is Quirrell who appeared in the first book. He seemed like a good person, but was actually harboring Voldemort in the back of his head and was burned to ash a the end of the book. Lockhart in the Chamber of Secrets seemed too good to be true, and turned out to be a complete fraud. He placed a memory charm on himself that made him forget his entire life.  Lupin was probably one of the best teachers Harry had, but he had one flaw: he was a werewolf. He resigned quickly after that. Alastor Moody seemed like a good person at first, but was really a Death Eater is disguise. Umbridge was arguably the worst DADA teacher we have ever seen, teaching through a book for fear of an uprising. Snape was the final DADA teacher we saw at Hogwarts. Snape took his class very seriously and had some very strict policies. Snape was killed by Voldemort who was in pursuit of the Elder Wand.

·      11:53 Does the subject itself have anything to do with their deaths? The reason why there is a higher rate of death for DADA teachers is the fact that those people are most involved with dark magic and dark wizards. Quirrell was young and wanted to teach, so when he took a trip to Albania and met Voldemort, it was the perfect situation for Voldemort to descend and get an inside man at Hogwarts. Similarly with Moody, Barty Crouch Jr. was a very skilled wizard that the world thinks it dead, so he was in the perfect position to take a post at Hogwarts. His downfall came when he had no Polyjuice potion. He was also one of Voldemort’s closest followers. Snape is also a Death Eater who is mostly in support of Dumbledore. Snape’s end comes when he became too involved with Voldemort and his position was one Voldemort wanted. 

21:03 Is the DADA job cursed? Absolutely, but not for the reason you might think. There isn’t any magic that is involved with the position, it’s just the fact that DADA teachers are more involved with the dark arts than others. It is very difficult to find a DADA teacher who is morally good and good at magic. That’s why Dumbledore is forced to hire these people that aren’t the perfect choice by far. There are two ways you can avoid dying as the DADA teacher. The first is: completely eradicate every ounce of evil from every part of the world and make certain that there is no chance of any evil coming back. Or 2: don’t take the job.

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Episode 170:

In this episode, we discuss Tom Felton’s new book. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
·      Get Tom Felton’s book here.

·      1:47 What can be gained from this book? There are a lot of different stories that have a wide variety of stages in Tom’s life. The book doesn’t move in perfect chronological order. It’s very well done and every piece of the story fits in place. As to what can be gained, we can gain a peek behind the curtain of production on the Potter set and of Tom’s life. We now have a different view of the filming that deepens our understanding of the filming. We also see what was going on in Tom’s head. It’s hard to be put on a set with millions of dollars on the line and pressure of producing a fantastic film. With this book, we can fully understand what was going on in Tom’s head every step of the way.

·      9:52 Was there an element of surprise? No! Granted, I didn’t know 99% of the things he wrote about in the book about his life and just about every page held a story or piece of information I had no idea existed. But at the core of the book, it is the story of a kid dealing with the difficulty of being in a stressful situation.  

·      14:55 Did Tom’s childhood affect his acting? Of course. He had a pack of brothers that showed him the world and were some of his first big supporters. They taught him how to fish and how to keep a job and how to steal something from a store. Perhaps what was more influential in his acting before Potter was his experience acting beforehand. He did several ads and projects including The Borrowers which was his first real time on a large-scale set.

·      19:24 Should similar books be published like this? Absolutely. Having this 3D view of the story is extremely valuable and any more stories of the goings on behind the curtain on set are only going to help the story. Anyone else who worked on the set could write something just as amazing.

·      22:25 What are some of my favorite parts in the story? First is the first chapter where he stole a CD. It showed his character and was a great introduction to the book. I enjoyed his stories of getting driven into work and his dyed hair. He also wrote about how often they corpse on set. A story that stood out to me was toward the end of the book when he left rehab for a bit and wanted to see some of his friends across town and met some very amazing people along the way. 

·      28:25 Thumbs up or thumbs down? Well, surprise surprise, I give Tom’s book a giant thumbs up. It is a fantastic behind the scenes look on Harry Potter and what goes on in Tom’s life.    

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Episode 169:

In this episode, we discuss Ravenclaw and how it is very underrated. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:

·      This episode comes from a listener! Thank you very much. If you want to have your own idea featured on the show, submit it to thepotterdiscussion@gmail.com.

·      2:11 Who are some famous Ravenclaws? Rowena Ravenclaw is the founder of Ravenclaw and the founder of the diadem of Ravenclaw. Luna Lovegood and Cho Chang are some of the modern students in Ravenclaw house that we know in the story. Ollivander the wand maker is another Ravenclaw that is a huge help to the wizarding world. Flitwick is an awesome character with fantastic lines and a great sense of humor that brings a fascinating depth to the story. Perhaps the least known on this list is Millicent Bagnold who was the Minister of Magic when Voldemort was first in power. She handled the situation well and famously said “I assert our inalienable right to party.” Click here to learn more.

·      9:55 What are some of the traits of Ravenclaw house? First and foremost, there is intelligence. But it goes past a good grade on a test. Ravenclaws think about what they say before they say it and are very quick thinking. They make clever jokes and have form a retort in a matter of seconds. They are also funny. You can always count on a Ravenclaw to give a good jibe. Ravenclaws are also quite intuitive. They can read the room and have a good sense of what’s going on just by looking at someone’s mannerism. 

·      15:59 What would happen to Hogwarts if Ravenclaw house didn’t exist? The education would skew away from wand-based magic. Thinking back, the things that are associated with Ravenclaw are dueling and quick thinking, the wand user’s friends. So, if Ravenclaw were to disappear, learning the theory behind magic would become a lost art. You’ve got to know what you’re doing instead of what happens. 

·      21:50 What are some common myths and misconceptions? There have been several Ravenclaws who haven’t aligned with the Ravenclaw values and began some of these myths. Firstly, the thought that every Ravenclaw is a smart-Alec. It is very easy for a joke to come off as made to put someone down than get a laugh. Ravenclaws might also be seen as self-centered. Professor Lockhart might have something to do with the beginning of this one.

·      25:13 What are the takeaways? It’s simple: Ravenclaw is cool. There are a ton of amazing qualities Ravenclaws have and there is so much depth they bring to the story. 

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Episode 168:

In this episode, we examine different couples in Harry Potter and give them a rating based on how healthy it is. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
·      1:53 Why are we talking about relationships at all? Well, relationships are what everything in the Harry Potter story is built on. And with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I figured it would be fun to analyze more romantic couples in the Harry Potter story. 

·      3:52 Remus and Tonks. These are two amazing people that are fighting for good and with Harry, and they have an overall good relationship. However, they have one major problem: Lupin is a werewolf. Lupin was petrified that any children they would have would turn out to be a werewolf and it would turn out to be his fault. They get a thumbs up and a rating of 8.4.

·      9:13 Hagrid and Madame Maxime. They are two unique people who share many traits that allow them to be so close. What makes them so perfect for each other is the fact that they are both half-giants who find it difficult to form romantic relationships with any other person than someone who is a similar size to them. They also managed to iron out any difficulties early (unlike Lupin and Tonks) which allowed them to form a strong bond early on. They get a thumbs up and an 8.9

·      14:31 Lily and Snape. Though they might not have an openly romantic relationship, there were certainly feelings between them. Let’s look at them separately. Lily is a good person. She has good morals, and she understands social situation and is easy to be friendly with. Snape is thrilled to have a friend who cares about him the same way he cares about him. Lily needed someone who was magic like her to teach her about the wizarding world and Snape wanted someone to talk to. If they were left alone, they may have turned out very happily, but alas they went to Hogwarts and Lily met James. Lily fell for James, and Snape was devastated. He turned bitter and burst out, calling Lily a mudblood. Lily never liked him again. Snape was too volatile to form a healthy relationship. They get a thumbs down and a 6.7.

·      22:37 Dumbledore and Grindelwald. Their relationship is like that of Lily and Snape. There is one good person who understands how to have good values, and one person whose feet is too big for their boots. The difference comes with their separation. Dumbledore and Grindelwald still loved each other when they broke up, whereas Lily and Snape had no such feelings. This is one of those relationships that is difficult to decide a rating because they have gone through many stages. To rate their early stage, they get a tentative thumbs up and a 7.9. 

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Episode 167:

In this episode, we discuss the future for Fantastic Beasts and the new development that there may not be another film. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary: 
·      Check out the interview with Eddie Redmayne here.

·      2:43 Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Depending on your view of the series, you may prefer different things. If you enjoy the films for the story and the characters, another film is exactly what you want. But, if you take the more critical path of analyzing the film, you might not enjoy the fourth film if Warner Brothers were to put it out. Whatever your view, returns on investment might point towards the fourth Fantastic Beasts film staying away from a reality.  

·      10:13 Where can we go from here? This is another question that we can’t have a correct answer to. It’s hard to think that this whole chapter of Harry Potter is going to fade into the background and amount to far less than what the filmmakers wanted to make and what we wanted to see. This is a dangerous and expensive game that, in this scenario, WB has lost. Now, we’re looking to WB for a continuation of the story.

·      15:26 How can the story continue? The perfect situation would be two more films to finish of the series, but let’s just assume that’s not going to happen. More realistically, I’m hoping they put out a sort of short film that wraps up the story that doesn’t cost more than $20 or $30 million to make. Unfortunately, that might not happen. What I think will really happen is some sort of statement from WB addressing this. They might say that they are planning the next films or say that the project is coming to a close. As consumers, we have no say in this. We just have to wait. 

·      22:12 Let’s make a plan. Warner Brothers can take this many ways. When/if they put out a statement, we can react accordingly. If they say that they are planning the next film(s), we can gear up for the next release. If they say that nothing is going to happen, we can put Fantastic Beasts up on the shelf and call it a day. 

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Episode 166:

In this episode, we discuss if Dumbledore is really a good person.

Topics/Summary:

·      Check out episode 147, Dumbledore is a Death Eater here.

·      2:44 Why are we talking about this at all? Well, it changes the story a lot. If Dumbledore was helping Harry in a selfish way, we can see this in a very different light. In the Battle of the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore comes to Harry’s rescue. Just think, what if Dumbledore was saving Harry so Harry could die at the right moment instead of just saving him so he would be spared. 

·      10:30 Dumbledore makes a lot of sacrifices. His entire plan was to keep Harry alive until he could die at the right time, and he used human shields to do this. Harry’s sacrifice was the only one that had to happen. Sure, others may have died, but it was Dumbledore who put the rest of the people who died in front of Harry. It might have gone better if they set a trap for Voldemort or thinking of something else besides hope that he can’t kill everyone until Harry. 

·      15:31 Dumbledore bears an uncanny resemblance to Grindelwald. A lot of the things Dumbledore is doing is very similar to a ‘for the greater good’ mentality. Both Grindelwald and Dumbledore think they need sacrifice to reach the perfect world they are fighting for. Even Dumbledore says he isn’t a perfectly moral person, and though this doesn’t mean Dumbledore is trying to develop these secret plots against Harry, just keep in mind the influence from Grindelwald. 

·      20:42 Given the chance, would Dumbledore change his life? Not his current one, no. But his past… yes. If Dumbledore could go back and change his relationship with Grindelwald and give his young self advice, he absolutely would. Dumbledore wouldn’t change his life in a huge way, but he would want to tweak a few key things that would steer him away from Grindelwald. 

·      25:10 So. The zillion dollar question. Is Dumbledore a good person? Overall, yes. Dumbledore is a good person. But, he’s not perfect. Dumbledore has made many mistakes in his life, making sacrifice upon sacrifice. The reason Dumbledore is a good person, is he didn’t make any big mistakes when it counted. Dumbledore used his youth to be with Grindelwald, then in his adult life, saw his mistakes and became a good person.

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Episode 165:

In this episode, we explore AI combined with Harry Potter. Enjoy!

Topics/Summary:
·      There have new developments in the world of AI recently, involving tools such as ChatGPT. In this episode, we are going to be asking ChatGPT questions about Harry Potter and seeing if it can answer the question. 

·      Challenge question: What boat company did Newt use to get back to London at the end of Fantastic Beasts? Answer: The Royal Star Steam Company.

·       5:06 Is Harry Potter a good person? ChatGPT: “Harry Potter is a fictional character and it is ultimately up to the reader whether they consider him to be a good person or not.” 

·      9:55 What could the story of Harry Potter have done better? 

        1.)    Develop secondary characters more. 

        2.)    Address racial prejudice more directly

        3.)    Explore the aftermath of the war more

        4.)    Address the consequences of magic

        5.)    Show more diversity in the wizarding world

        6.)    Show more of the Ministry of Magic

        7.)    Show more of the muggle world

        8.)    Had a more satisfying ending

·      17:02 What could Harry Potter the character have done better in the story? 

1.)          Communicating with his friends and allies.

2.)          Trusting in his own abilities

3.)          Not being so reckless

4.)          Being more forgiving

5.)          Seeking help when needed

·      27:43 Give me an outline for a potential 8th Harry Potter book please.

o  “The book would begin with Harry, Ginny, Hermione, and Ron all being in their late thirties and living their own lives. The book would follow Harry as he is drawn back into the wizarding world when a new threat emerges. Harry would then seek help from his friends and allies, including Hermione and Ron, who would help him investigate this new threat. As they investigate, Harry and his friends would uncover a dark secret about the organization and its true purpose. They would also learn that the organization has been recruiting young witches and wizards, and Harry would have to stop them from doing so. Along the way, Harry would have to face his own demons, including his past and his feelings of guilt and regret about hie role in the previous war. The final showdown would take place at Hogwarts where Harry and his friends would have to face off against the organization and its leader. The book would end with Harry and his friends finally defeating the organization and bringing peace to the wizarding world again.

·      31:17 Tell me a Harry Potter joke. Here’s the best we got: Why did the Death Eater cross the road? To get to the dark side!

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Episode 164:

In this episode, we test out knowledge on Newt Scammander. Enjoy!

Topics:

  • Where does Newt live?
  • Which bank did Newt meet Jacob?
  • Why did Newt say he was in America?
  • Much more!


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Episode 163:

Hi everyone! I’m sorry to say I’m not feeling my best at the moment, so this episode is a rebroadcast of my favorite episode from 2022. Enjoy!

See original episode, show notes, and transcript here.


Episode 162:

Thanks. The world’s been pretty crazy this year, and I’m glad I could sit down every weekend and ramble about Harry Potter. I have a blast every episode and I look forward to every week, knowing there’s an episode or an Instagram post or a newsletter waiting for me. I couldn’t have done any of this without you, so I just want to say thanks. See you soon.
-Oscar

Favorite Episodes of 2022:
Episode 138: My Visit to Harry Potter Filming Locations in England! (Lacock, Oxford, The Harry Potter Studio Tour)
Episode 123: The Music of Harry Potter!
Episode 120: Analyzing the New Secrets of Dumbledore Trailer!

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