Grace Ball, Brooke Matherly, Haley Simpkiss, Andrew, Mary Clay Watt, Christina Kann, Mike
Christina Kann 00:01
"Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of Number Four Privet Drive were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you'd expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious because they just didn't hold with such nonsense."
Christina Kann 00:35
Today, Chapter One: The Boy Who Lived. I think most of us are probably really familiar with chapter one of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, which is called The Boy Who Lived, a phrase that we hear really consistently throughout this series. It starts with Vernon Dursley, of all people, as our introduction to the world of Harry Potter, a muggle -- the worst kind of muggle, if you ask me. He wakes up and he goes about his work day. He notices first a cat in the garden, reading a map -- but not reading a map, because obviously cats don't read maps. And then he goes to work, and he notices just some weird things throughout the day: owls and people dressed really strangely. He thinks he hears somebody on the street, one of these cloaked people, talking about his nephew, Harry, Harry Potter, the son of Petunia, his wife's sister, Lily. Vernon Dursley goes home; he broaches the subject of Harry with his wife, Petunia. She's not keen to engage in the conversation. So Vernon ends his day, uneasy, and he goes to bed. And then out in the garden, a man appears! You know who. He's wearing high heels, and halfmoon spectacles, and a great cloak, and he has a beard down to his knees and a twinkle in his blue eyes. And this man is Albus Dumbledore. And the cat is no longer a cat; the cat becomes Professor McGonagall. They talk about James and Lily Potter, who have died. They talk about Voldemort, who has been vanquished. But most importantly, they talk about Harry, the boy who lived when Voldemort tried to murder him. Dumbledore has decided to leave Harry in the custody of his aunt and uncle. Eventually Hagrid, the half giant, appears on a flying motorbike -- naturally, that is a very safe way to transport an infant -- and he has Harry in tow. And they -- they leave him there with the Dursleys.
Christina Kann 02:56
Hey everybody, how's it going?
Christina Kann 02:59
Wow, that didn't sound forced at all.
Brooke Matherly 03:01
Fair to average.
Christina Kann 03:03
I'm really excited that you guys are all here on my square table. We are drinking butterbeer, which is a combination of cream soda, Guinness, Smirnoff vanilla, and butterscotch Schnapps. So that is what we're drinking today. It's very good. The Guiness really helps to make it not as sweet as some other butterbeer recipes.
Christina Kann 03:24
So let's just do a quick roll call. Who's here today?
Haley Simpkiss 03:26
Grace Ball 03:27
Mary Clay Watt 03:28
Brooke Matherly 03:30
Christina Kann 03:31
Yay! Oh, me, Christina, your host. Yay! So today, we read The Boy Who Lived. It's just like coming home right after a long vacation.
Brooke Matherly 03:43
Can I start by saying that I realized -- this is a complete blast from my childhood -- the book edition that I'm using I got from the Scholastic Book Fair.
Christina Kann 03:53
Oh, fuck yeah.
Brooke Matherly 03:54
And it only cost me $5.99.
Haley Simpkiss 03:58
I have the same edition. I think this is the one that my mom bought me because it's got my name written in my mom's very neat handwriting and the cover is ripped off.
Christina Kann 04:06
The cover is, verified, completely gone. I'm reading the illustrated edition that just came out by Bloomsbury.
When I moved out of my parents house, I think I left my books there, or they're in storage somewhere. So I went to 2nd and Charles to get and used one, but I can see through the sticker that they put on it that this was originally $6.50. So inflation had already hit.
Christina Kann 04:30
Which one are you reading over there?
Grace Ball 04:31
I am actually reading The Philosopher's Stone. I know we had mentioned that we're not gonna do that, but sorry!
It's okay, you just have to read it in a British accent.
Mary Clay Watt 04:43
They're really beautiful covers. The new versions, we should add.
Christina Kann 04:49
It's funny because I'm reading the illustrated edition, which I didn't -- I mean, I thought it was American because it's called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, but the interior is either British version or a hybrid, I've not figured it out yet. It definitely uses the single quotes from Britain, and it also has a couple just like weird phrases that made me -- I was like, "This is definitely not in the original."
Something I really want to highlight is that -- well one, me and Brooke are sharing a book because I usually give away my books. But the thing I really love about the Harry Potter books is how the covers really like invite your imagination. And I think if we're going to discuss that first chapter, we've got to discuss the fact that your eyes immediately caught to this crazy cover, and I think it really sets a tone and paints a picture and creates this own narrative before you even crack the page, which I really love.
Christina Kann 05:39
Yeah, so this is an original American Scholastic cover, which I think a lot of us are really familiar with. Definitely my original series that I got was the hardcover Scholastics, and I think a lot of people are the same. Yeah, it's really heartwarming to look at my boy Harry. You start reading these really dismal first chapters and you're like, "It's cool. He gets on a broomstick at some point."
Mary Clay Watt 06:03
Christina Kann 06:04
Brooke Matherly 06:04
Real question I've never had answered though: Who is candlestick hand on the back?
Haley Simpkiss 06:09
I think that's also Harry. I think that's one of the multiple times he sneaks out at night.
Which also implies that later on, he's holding a candle underneath a cloak, which does not sound like a good idea.
Christina Kann 06:20
He does that with great frequency.
Haley Simpkiss 06:22
He's 11. He's not smart.
Christina Kann 06:24
He definitely -- when he goes to The Restricted Section -- does that a lot with the invisibility cloak, and it is quite dangerous.
Haley Simpkiss 06:33
I think it was technically a lantern, and then eventually they figure out lumos but that takes a couple of years.
Christina Kann 06:38
I would like to argue that a lantern is still dangerous. Oil everywhere!
Haley Simpkiss 06:42
I'm just saying it's less dangerous than an open flame.
Christina Kann 06:44
Grace Ball 06:44
Is invisibility cloak fireproof?
Christina Kann 06:47
All spoilers all the time. It is made from death's own cloak. So I think probably is flame retardant. Oh my god Hogwarts is burning down -- quick! Get the invisibility cloak!
So I think that's something to bring up here: which education and wizard education is really crappy because when you're a muggle, you get taught stop drop and roll and like don't play with fire. They're like, "No play with fire all the time and wear cloaks."
Haley Simpkiss 07:12
Yeah, they just leave the children to their devices and whoever survives survives.
Christina Kann 07:17
They're like, "It's a stone castle, Hogwarts is going to be fine."
Brooke Matherly 07:21
To bring it into the chapter that we read: wizards are bad at everything is how we start this because they are literally running around in the streets in cloaks.
Christina Kann 07:32
They are so dumb.
Brooke Matherly 07:33
Just screaming at people what is essentially utter nonsense. And the only person bothered by this is of course Professor McGonagall, who is literally just like, "People aren't being careful at all," and Dumbledore is like, "Yeah, let's go to a ranger," effectively how he ends the chapter.
Christina Kann 07:55
Rereading this, I'm like, "Every damn one of these wizards is flippin Delagus Diggle, who sets off the fireworks in the later books."
Can I share with you all one of my deeply held fan theories for a very long time ago?
Christina Kann 08:06
Please do; that's what we're here for.
I think that not only is Dedalus Diggle the one that set off the shooting stars; I think he's the one that bumps into Uncle Venon. It doesn't say him by name, but it says that he has a violet cloak -- which he's always known to wear purple -- and the way that he has the high squeaky voice and he talks about like, "Even muggle like you!" I just always assumed in my head that Dedalus was like just chilling around London, bumping in muggles, and then went off and set off some giant shooting stars in the countryside.
Christina Kann 08:32
That is a great theory, and I wonder if JK Rowling wrote this random character in the first chapter and then like couldn't quite shake him, you know? Had to bring him back.
Haley Simpkiss 08:39
The thing with this chapter is that there's so many names that crop up that crop up later. I remember the first time I ever read the series on my own, seeing the mention Sirius Black lending the bike to Hagrid, I was like, "What the fuck?"
Mary Clay Watt 08:56
Reading this chapter, there were several points where I wanted to cry. And when Hagrid mentions, "I ran into Sirius and I got the bike," and knowing what we know happens in the future -- this is the night where everything went so wrong for him.
Christina Kann 09:16
This is the last thing he does before his life gets ruined.
Mary Clay Watt 09:18
I reached out and pet the page.
That actually brings up another good point though, which is that Dumbledore either knows everything here or he knows nothing, because in his mind, the last person that he thought was the secret keeper -- because he's the one who performed the Fidelis charm -- at least that's what I remember -- we haven't gotten that far -- was Sirius. So the fact that James and Lily were found means that either Dumbledore had the knowledge that he had passed it on to Peter Pettigrew, or Dumbledore is just sitting there like, "Oh, you ran into Sirius. How'd that go? Good. Yeah, great, wonderful."
Haley Simpkiss 09:53
I think Lily might have been the one who performed the fidelius charm because she was supposed to be really adept with charms, and I don't think that Dumbledore knew about the switch. Even with the whole "Sirius wasn't given a trial" thing, that's a pretty big oversight, and Dumbledore does have a lot of pull with the government.
Christina Kann 10:11
Not to get too much into Book Three stuff, but I don't think Lily could have performed her own charm -- a charm about herself. I think that -- I'm just inventing rules right now -- but I think that may be a magical fallacy. Dante, buddy! My cat is on the table.
Haley Simpkiss 10:30
He's like halfway onto Andrew's book.
He's nudging my arm like, "You're gonna pet me know."
Mary Clay Watt 10:35
Well, while Christina moves the cat -- jumping in to say that I think Dumbledore is the one who suggested to the Potters that they have a secret keeper situation. Which is weird here, because I think he knew -- either he just suggested, "Hey, you should get a secret keeper" and didn't know who it was -- or he knew it was Sirius. And I feel like he had to have known it was Sirius, because he was the one that suggested it, and I bet it was his magic that did it. But I think that's something that we might have to talk about throughout all of this. Did JK Rowling really know everything?
A lot of fans talk about that, where they think that she really didn't make the plot path like Book Three, Book Four. But I think that's actually kind of the beauty that runs through that first chapter, because we're exposed the characters, there's obviously a back plot that she's already created. But at the same time, those ties aren't there. So there's foreshadowing, but there's also a lack of foreshadowing about certain characters, which really lends the imagination and the ambiguity of it. You feel like you've stepped in the middle of something you have no clue about, which is a really great feeling to be exposed to because you learn with Harry.
Christina Kann 11:46
I don't know if you cover this while I was expelling my cat -- expelliarmusing my cat -- that's not the appropriate spell. While I was vanishing my cat.
Mary Clay Watt 11:56
You can use expelliarmus for anything.
Christina Kann 11:59
He has been disarmed. But definitely JK Rowling is on the record that she wrote the end first, but that doesn't mean she knew how she was going to get there. Much like the Game of Thrones writers! They're like, "I know we're gonna go, but I don't know how we're gonna get there."
Mary Clay Watt 12:13
That's the problem with that, though, is that you don't take into account what happens in the eight or nine years between when you have already decided the ending and the amount of character development that can happen.
Christina Kann 12:26
Yeah, and just like as a writer, I've definitely experienced when you think you're writing a certain character, and they just completely do their own thing. And you wonder if you're slightly possessed. That happens all the time; it never goes exactly the way you think it's going to.
I think somebody else to take into count is JK Rowling, she wrote this not famous, right? So she came up with that ending--
Christina Kann 12:49
She wrote it on a napkin.
Yeah, she came with that ending, not famous, but then as the books start blowing up around like four or five, then she started writing things, and now she's writing perspective of, "Oh my God, I have millions of adoring people. Oh, they probably--" You know? I think you also see that kind of change in how she treats characters and how she kind of does things versus in the beginning, because she's basically kind of like, "I'm just writing a kid's story, hopefully somebody enjoys it," which I think just adds to the charm of that first book, really.
Brooke Matherly 13:19
I haven't timeline question.
Christina Kann 13:21
Brooke Matherly 13:22
I know. So almost immediately, Mr. Dursley is asking Mrs. Dursley, "Their son, he'd be about Dudley's age now, wouldn't he?" But Dudley seems to be pretty far along in the development of a child in that he's got multiple words that he knows--
Christina Kann 13:40
"No" and "won't."
Brooke Matherly 13:41
Right, and also that he's able to go up and down the street with Mrs. Dursley asking for sweets, which is a thing that McGonagall references. But then in both the illustrations at the beginning of the chapter, and based on the words used, Harry's like a baby baby.
Mary Clay Watt 13:59
I think they're both between like 12 months old and 18 months old, and I think when they're talking about like walking up and down the street, I don't know if they actually said walking.
Haley Simpkiss 14:12
They don't say that he's walking up the street. It's said that he's kicking his mother up and down the street, which could mean that she's carrying him.
Christina Kann 14:19
But definitel, Aunt Petunia is not the one begging for sweets.
Actually, can we just give Dudley credit? I know everyone hates him, but maybe the kid's smart, alright?
Christina Kann 14:27
I'd also like to point out a couple things. One really good point was the developmental stuff. We're definitely not gonna get too much into baby development here, but they do progress at different rates. Although I would argue that Dudley might be one of those babies who has everything given to them and never has to learn how to speak because everything's provided. Also, I think the fact that Dudley is up and walking and talking a little bit, and the fact that in this chapter, we only see Harry swaddled -- he might have had a spell put on him. I know "he fell asleep just as we was flying over Bristol," but maybe it's because of magic!
Brooke Matherly 15:01
I don't think, however, that makes the abject child abandonment that occurs at the end of this chapter any better.
Christina Kann 15:08
No, you're completely right.
It is par for the course for wizards with the whole child endangerment thing. If you live, you live.
Guys, it's important. A governor and a vice principal of a school that left this child. That is like the highest authority you could possibly find.
Christina Kann 15:21
I think that the more you learn about Dumbledore, the less surprising this is. He is running a school -- among many other clansdestine maneuvers that we're not really certain of, even by the end of the series. He's doing a lot; his schedule is full. I think that he probably is one of those privileged old white dudes who's just like, "It'll be fine. This is my word. This is what I've decided. It's gonna be fine. Minerva? It's gonna be fine."
Brooke Matherly 15:50
No. I'll take that for Dumbledore and I'll take that from McGonagall, but Hagrid literally just weeping and then being like, "Welp, nothing to do now. Off onto my borrowed motorcycle."
Christina Kann 16:00
But Dumbledore is his hero. Dumbledore is the whole reason that Hagrid has a life.
So I've got a theory about Dumbledore. I think that JK Rowling, one of the things that I think she deeply wanted -- I can't speak for all of you, obviously, and I'd love to hear your input -- I love Dumbledore no matter how weird and dark and awful he gets. I still love him because of how I identify with him, and I think JK Rowling really meant for him to not be that way. I think she meant for him to be this grandfather type figure, and then for us to not like him by the end of it, and then Harry try and pull us back into liking him. The problem is, that never happens. Because all of us, I think, have so much connection to him as the anchor point, the hero, the ultimate wizened old man, that we're willing to look past the endangerment and the keeping out of the loop.
Christina Kann 16:50
I don't like Dumbledore.
Brooke Matherly 16:51
Neither do I.
Christina Kann 16:52
And I think that -- bear with me -- I think that the reason I don't like Dumbledore is because he could have been more like Gandalf. He could have had just a little more authority and a little more edges. Instead, he's kind of just like floating around talking in metaphors, always the kid gloves. "It's gonna be okay."
Mary Clay Watt 17:16
It's so funny, because I don't like Gandalf as much as I like Dumbledore because of that exact same reason. I think Dumbledore is so similar to Gandalf, but Dumbledore has a lot more warmth and whimsy about him than Gandalf ever did.
Christina Kann 17:37
Okay quick: on three, everyone say if you like Dumbledore or Gandalf more. 1-2-3.
*incoherent speaking over each other*
Christina Kann 17:45
That was aggressively Dumbledore. Am I alone? Did anyone else say Gandalf?
Haley Simpkiss 17:48
I like Gandalf better. I don't dislike Dumbledore. I think that it's kind of an apples to oranges thing, even though they're both like odinic figures. They're dealing with different shit on different scales. Gandalf is grumpier because he's dealing with more shit. He's dealing with the fate of the world. Dumbledore is dealing with the fate of a community of maybe 20,000 people.
I actually think it goes back to the root of what they are, you know? Gandalf is a divinity; he's chosen basically by God and created to watch over the world. Whereas Dumbledore, by his very nature, is a human being. And that's why we get the more whimsical, charming character.
Mary Clay Watt 18:27
I think it's interesting what you were saying about how JK Rowling wrote Dumbledore and how maybe she intended for us to interpret him and feel about him. I think she wrote him to be a grandfather figure that in the beginning we think is like, perfect, and he's always going to know the right answer. He's always going to know what to do. But then much like in real life, and how we grow up with Harry, and how you grow up in real life, you realize that the adults and the parental figures in your life that you look to for guidance are all human, and they all have mistakes that you that you learn about, and it makes them human.
Christina Kann 19:08
And he asks for forgiveness.
Brooke Matherly 19:10
I will also say that much like a grandfather, the parents have turned over this child effectively. And the grandfather is just running wild trying to get the kids to like him. It's a lot of like candy and adventures. And then at the very end, he's kind of like, "Hey, so there's also this thing, and your parents kind of told me about it, and I kind of forgot, but we do have to get to this point, and, um... you're a sacrifice."
Christina Kann 19:39
I forgot he was a sacrifice!
It's important, though, because that is an important key to why I think Dumbledore does so well with the way he does things. Yes, Harry is a sacrifice, but that doesn't mean that you isolate him and don't let him have a life. Because remember: he knows he's a sacrifice, but one of his educated guesses was that the ultimate sacrifice would result in him not dying, and instead the piece of Voldemort soul dies.
Grace Ball 20:06
If that's the case, though, it's important, because you need a child who's raised in such a normalized way that they are decent enough that they are willing to make that sacrifice
Brooke Matherly 20:16
Generally incorrect because he did not find out about the horcruxes until much later.
Christina Kann 20:19
I also think that Dumbledore, much like Arthur Weasley, has this idealization of muggles. I think he's like, "Can a dog really be bad? They're so stupid, they're just trying to do the right thing. Like muggles. They're really trying out there. They don't even have magic. They invented this thing called ekeltricity to make their life go." That is part of why he kind of just disregards McGonagall's worries here.
Well, I think it's something to take into account is that as a plot device, the reason why Dumbledore kinda has to kind of turn, and not have the answers early in the books, is because the stakes have to get higher. Whereas in the first few books, it's Harry's little venture, but at the end of the day, you know the world's not gonna fall apart. Dumbledore is there; he's gonna, at the end of every book, do the sweet like, "Come here, Harry, let me tell you, and we're gonna go back through and I'm going to tell you everything."
Christina Kann 21:12
Oh my God, I had a Facebook memory pop up like two days ago that was like "that moment when you finish reading a Harry Potter book and there's 50 pages left for Dumbledore to explain himself."
And I think that's kind of the point is the stakes get higher, and then I think too if Dumbledore is an all knowing figure, and he's this truly powerful figure, like a Gandalf, then really, what is Voldemort? You know what I mean? So I think what we see later in the book says is that no, Voldemort is a more powerful magician than -- wizard -- than than Dumbledore.
Christina Kann 21:45
I love Voldemort as a magician.
But also, how dare you?
I love the fact that Dumbledore's like, "Yo dude, there's a rager." He's like, "We may as well go and join the celebration." I would like the party with that guy.
Christina Kann 22:03
It is canon that Dumbledore loves parties. Remember that Christmas when almost everyone goes home in the Prisoner of Azkaban because they're all afraid of Sirius Black, and it's 13 people at the table, right? And Dumbledore's getting crazy, he's like wearing crazy hats.
One thing that I do think is interesting is, like you said earlier, we do know that she wrote the end of the books first, and then, you know, came back and filled in from the beginning. And I think that one of the things that Dumbledore gives off in my mind in this chapter -- and this could be just because I know how everything goes -- but I've always read it as him being very pensive about the whole situation. "Yes, he's gone now, but--" I've always read it as Dumbledore knows that he's going to come back, maybe not necessarily because of horcruxes, not necessarily because of fill in the blank, but he knows that Voldemort is not truly gone.
Christina Kann 22:58
I think if anything he just thinks that maybe it was a little too easy.
Haley Simpkiss 23:01
I think Dumbledore is very trope savvy.
Christina Kann 23:05
He's done his reading.
Haley Simpkiss 23:06
That explains a lot of the shit he does. He lets Harry be raised as a sacrifice and is involved in that, but he kind of knows, "Yeah, but the hero will have to have a second chance at the end!" But like if your evil super-powered villain with snake themes dies and there's no corpse, like... he ain't gone.
Mary Clay Watt 23:25
So McGonagall is kind of beating around the bush to find out whether or not the Potters have been killed or not and if Harry's lived, and she asks How is it possible that a baby has survived -- or a toddler or whatever, however old he is -- and Dumbledore says, "We can only guess. We may never know." I have two interpretations of that: one is he's trying to downplay the fact that we don't know everything because we need to be cautious here. They need to be cautious about the situation. But my main reading of that is, "You too do know, you know exactly what happened. And you're going to tell us at the end of this book 11 years later." But only partially, and then we're gonna have to wait another seven years.
Brooke Matherly 24:26
Can I throw brief shade at the fact that Mrs. Dursley comes strong out the gate saying that Harry has "a nasty, common name" when she named her child Dudley Dursley?
Mary Clay Watt 24:39
That's not a common name.
I'm gonna step in here. No, he's a he's a child, a very intelligent and smart child, so don't be putting shade on his name.
Grace Ball 24:52
To be fair, in my edition, Dudley says "shan't."
Christina Kann 24:57
Oh, yeah! Oh, that's exactly how I knew that -- illustrated editions say "shan't." And I was like, "Absolutely not. That is not what he says." I have this chapter memorized.
Mary Clay Watt 25:08
I didn't think anything of it because my brother had copies of every book in the British copy and the English copy. I say "English" like British isn't an English language. So I kind of flip-flopped between -- When I was reading the books or rereading them, sometimes I'd be like, "Oh, this time I'm going to read the British version," or whatever. So I just didn't think anything of it that he said, "Shan't," because like, yeah, they're British people. That makes sense.
Brooke Matherly 25:40
taking us back to child development, everyone's favorite topic. The "shh" sound is far more difficult for most people to pronounce and therefore the fact that if his second word -- it doesn't say second word; it just says "a new word" -- is actually shan't, it does say more to his overall intelligence than if his word is "won't."
There's this old British comedy called Keeping Up Appearances. It's about this social climber woman named Hyacinth Bouquet, and I've always thought that the Dursleys were kind of like that. They're nowhere near as well off as you would expect, they like project this image that isn't true, and saying "shan't" instead of "won't" enough that Dudley picks up the word "shan't" over "won't" definitely fits in with that.
Brooke Matherly 26:31
My favorite piece of characterization in this entire chapter is the fact that Mr. Dursley sits with his back to the window because what a fucking psychopath. I have a big beautiful window in my office -- not to brag -- but it is the only reason I don't off myself by the end of the work day. It's because I get beautiful golden hour glow, and it is when I take 100% of my Snapchat pictures.
Christina Kann 26:55
Hey, I work in a darker corner and my light flickers.
Grace Ball 26:59
Your light is equivalent to the light of a thousand suns.
Christina Kann 27:04
We recently moved to Grace's desk into a window -- well, under a window.
Grace Ball 27:11
To be fair, I face a brick wall, so.
Christina Kann 27:13
It's a really narrow alleyway, and view sometimes trucks really play it fast and loose in that alleyway.
Talking about views -- I think it's really cool how this the whole book begins on this chapter, and how we start off with a muggle. I think it's cool, and also I think Mr. Dursley going through his day -- it's a day that most of us would go through. We all miss things, we don't notice things, and there's all these crazy things going on. Literally, after you read it, you kind of have to go about your day looking around being like "Okay, maybe I'm missing stuff."
Mary Clay Watt 27:42
I love how it starts out. It's this beautiful, magical tale, and it starts out with the worst possible non-magical people ever.
Christina Kann 27:52
I think that Vernon Dursley is really up there with like Umbridge in terms of god-awful characters, like locking children in closets and raising Dudley. Just the worst!
Brooke Matherly 28:08
I have another timeline question. So they're saying that "Mrs. Potter was Mrs. Dursley's sister but they hadn't met for several years. In fact, Mrs. Dursley pretended she didn't even have a sister," blah, blah, blah. Okay, so are they then chatting on the phone? Because if they haven't met for several years, how do they know about their less-than-one-year-old child?
Christina Kann 28:28
Um, I think maybe other family members?
Haley Simpkiss 28:31
I think Lily probably like has tried to reach out by sending letters. That seems like a Lily thing to do. Like she's sent Christmas cards and stuff probably, and Petunia just does not respond.
Christina Kann 28:42
Maybe even with like a photo.
Brooke Matherly 28:44
To be fair: How effing shocking would it be as someone who utterly detests magic to constantly get those like photo Christmas cards with people just moving?
Christina Kann 28:54
Definitely set them on fire.
Referencing stuff from later on that we know: We do know later on that they were really close until Lily went off to school. I can't remember exactly how it's done, but when she learns about the dementors, Petunia perks up and asks, "Are you sure?" She obviously has more knowledge of the world. So there was a period of time, at least, where she had an interest. And so I can totally see a scenario where Lily would have been sending letters to Petunia, and Petunia would definitely be the type who likes to know everything going on. It says she looks over the fences, and--
Christina Kann 29:34
Definitely Petunia is like down until until her jealousy maxes out. And that's what leads her, I think, to wholly reject the magical world because it rejected her. And I feel like that's how she feels. So definitely they communicated, I think, at least for the first couple years of Lily's schooling.
I think that maybe maybe a counterpart to that is maybe it's actually not jealousy. Maybe at first it was jealousy, but especially as the Potters go down this wormhole, especially fighting against Voldemort, maybe she sees the danger of the magical world. A lot of people, if you're about to get punched or get in a car wreck, you close your eyes. Maybe in a lot of ways, they're just closing their eyes, and that's why they're so scared and violent to it is because they see the danger of the wizarding world.
Haley Simpkiss 30:20
I always kind of wondered about something. So Harry goes to the Dursleys, right, because there's only living relatives. His grandparents on his dad's side are dead. And his grandparents Lily side are also dead.
Christina Kann 30:33
Haley Simpkiss 30:36
I have kind of a theory that like maybe Lily's parents really were murdered by Voldemort. Yhat wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility.
Christina Kann 30:43
That would give Petunia more reason to fear.
Haley Simpkiss 30:46
I kind of wish that had been explored.
Also more reason to be bitter to her sister and also to be bitter to this child. You know, we're all human, and you're like, "Because of you, because of all this," and you're showing it. Your abilities are unhinged and showing it even as a young child, I could kind of see how it could make you wrathful and very vengeful
And I think that jealousy is definitely a piece of it, but I think that it's more of jealousy of the type where "you stole my best friend from me." At first it was jealousy that she wasn't there. But as time went on, I don't think it was jealousy of not having these powers; it was jealousy of the fact that "I had my best friend that was my sister and I lost that."
Christina Kann 31:26
And I think that's something that we can all kind of relate to in a way. When your friend gets into something that you aren't involved in, it's like, "Dude, we're supposed to be together."
We're ride and die.
With that being said, I hated these characters growing up. With all this maturity as an adult, mind you -- speaking up as as a teenager and as a child reading this -- No, I hated them, and I still have no sympathy for them.
Brooke Matherly 31:52
Also in general, to throw some like respect on their name. The Dursleys are perfect for each other. A+ marriage, absolute meant for each other, written for each other type people.
Grace Ball 32:12
I think reading it, you know, as an adult, I have a new respect for Vernon because he is so terrified of Petunia. Just like, good for you, man.
Christina Kann 32:12
Christina Kann 32:30
I have questions that we have not explored, which is great, they're here for emergencies. And one of them is What do you remember about when you read this for the first time or as a child? One thing that I remember from reading it when I was a child is Vernon Dursley works for a firm that makes drills, right? And I remember being like "firm," pretty sure I had asked my dad, and he was like, "That's a company," and I was like, "Cool. Got it." And I'm pretty sure I was like, "Well, it can't be like drills. You make those in a factory. That doesn't make any sense. It must be something that I don't know. It must be a grown up thing, like running fire drills."
That's what I thought! I thought it was like a drills, like an emergency situation planning company when I was young.
Brooke Matherly 33:10
In general, this whole intro to him as a character washed completely over my head as a child, because I was just like, "Alright, he's an adult. Adults do boring shit."
Mary Clay Watt 33:24
This is what all adults do.
Brooke Matherly 33:26
Par for the course.
All adults that are in charge obviously yell at a few people every day. That's normal.
Haley Simpkiss 33:33
Something I picked up on on this read-through was that he has a secretary. Imagine being Vernon Dursley's secretary.
Brooke Matherly 33:43
In general, Vernon Dursley is like a pretty high ranking person in this company. And I think that the Harry Potter movies did a real disservice to them on the general size of their home. I feel like they have more money, because Petunia is also a stay at home mom.
Yeah, he works for a firm that has drills, but I agree with Andrew. It's a nonprofit that teaches people how to do fire drills. God knows there's these wizards running around with cloaks and candles.
All I'm saying is this is a good man who loves his wife loves his child.
Brooke Matherly 34:17
Even if I worked for a nonprofit, 100% guarantee not everyone in a nonprofit is here to save the world. There are also the budgeting department.
Christina Kann 34:26
I would like to say that Mary Clay and I are looking at the illustrated edition. I have previously pointed this out to Haley. On the very first page of this chapter, the illustration is a sample of the Dursleys' wall, including the bottom of a calendar from Grunnings, where it says "Boring is our business." Definitely for sure not fire drills. I wish I had this illustrated edition when I was a kid.
Brooke Matherly 34:50
That's a top-notch pun.
Christina Kann 34:51
I know! I literally was like, "Oh my God, look at this! I've discovered something wonderful."
Brooke Matherly 34:57
I am glad that you brought that up because I'm sure the illustrator that decided on putting that there was like, "I hope someone gets this."
Mary Clay Watt 35:04
Also at one point -- I think it's in Goblet of Fire -- someone pointed out to me that in the background in Ron's room on his bookshelf, you can see a stamp for -- I don't know what -- it has something to do with Lord of the Rings.
Christina Kann 35:20
It's Tolkien's monogram it has like a J R R T in it.
Mary Clay Watt 35:23
Okay, yeah. And so people were like, "Ron reads Lord of the Rings." I came up with several theories. First of all, it would make more sense that Hermione was the one who read Lord of the Rings. And second of all, I think the only way that Ron would read Lord of the Rings is if Tolkien was a wizard writer, because there's no way he would read muggle books. So that means JRR Tolkien is a wizard, and that's why his books make no sense, because he's writing it as a wizard and we're muggles.
Christina Kann 35:58
Or Gandalf was based on Aberforth -- edgy Dumbledore.
Mary Clay Watt 36:07
I'm really excited for us like seven years from now to get to that chapter.
Christina Kann 36:13
The fact that these are children's books and we are in no uncertain terms completely sure that Aberforth definitely was accused of fucking goats. I want to know what language was used.
I think you said like "inappropriate," uhh.
Haley Simpkiss 36:26
Performing inappropriate charms on a goat.
Brooke Matherly 36:30
To be fair, when I read that as a child I definitely interpreted that more as like "inappropriate terms on a goat" like he tried to turn the back half into a frog or some shit.
Mary Clay Watt 36:40
Or he was like, "What if a goat had two butts?"
Christina Kann 36:45
Oh my god that's an episode of Bob's Burgers! Two-butted goat!
As a young boy, I definitely read it is Aberforth was fucking a goat.
Christina Kann 36:53
I did too. It was book six or seven, and my mind was already in the gutter.
No no, even as a teenager I was like, "Nah nah nah, he's definitely just mutilating goats."
Brooke Matherly 37:02
I definitely thought it was more violence and less sexual.
Mary Clay Watt 37:07
My favorites Easter egg in the movies, in fifth one, when they go to the Hog's Head -- which later on we learned that Aberforth owns -- and you see there's a goat walking around, and that's one of my favorite Easter eggs that they've put in.
Christina Kann 37:22
Yeah, I love that attention to detail.
Mary Clay Watt 37:24
So speaking of attention to detail, I love this chapter. Sorry, I just wanted to talk about--
Christina Kann 37:29
No, that's a great segue.
Haley Simpkiss 37:31
One of my favorite Dumbledore moments is when McGonagall is trying to be serious and be like, "Hey, what happened? I've heard these rumors that Voldemort is gone now. What do you think happened?" And he goes, "It certainly seem so. We have much to be thankful for. Would you care for sherbert lemon?" And McGonagall goes, "What? Like, now is not the time, Albus!"
Haley Simpkiss 37:59
Another comment on this same conversation: The whole thing about "you-know-who" versus using the name. I cannot tell you how furious I was when I got to book seven and we found out, after no one telling us for six years, the name's literally cursed.
Christina Kann 38:17
I think that only happens in the seventh book.
Haley Simpkiss 38:19
That only happened in the seventh book, but that was probably happening at the time. That's why people didn't want to use his name, because someone would turn up and like fuck your shit. Dumbledore wants everyone to use the name because they can't possibly keep up if everyone's using the name. But like, also, y'all are alone right now. And you know that not everyone uses the name. Don't fucking do it.
I don't think that it's taboo in the first war -- because that's what they refer to it this right? Is it's taboo. And if you say it, then they show up?
Christina Kann 38:47
Taboo with a capital T.
I don't think it is in the first four, because at this point, I still don't think the Death Eaters would have necessarily had been together enough to know what's going on. They're going to have people in the field that are still deeply undercover or deeply on missions, whatever the case may be. And if there was someone whose job was sitting in an isolated area waiting for someone to say the name, then they would have shown up. I really think that's something they do later on because Dumbledore's Army and Harry in particular pushes so hard to not be afraid to say the name.
Christina Kann 39:23
I also think that just the language Dumbledore uses in this is like, "I've never seen any reason to fear it," and he's not like a fucking idiot. If there's a reason to fear it, he'll be like, "Okay, there's a reason to fear it."
Actually, that dialog shows that maybe Dumbledore is the stronger character than we think. Or the smarter character, because if Voldemort is dead, as a lot of people are assuming in that moment, by saying his name, you're testing the waters -- if it is cursed! If during the first war, it is cursed, you're testing the waters.
Christina Kann 39:54
That is a very high-risk experiement.
Remember: this is war. People are taking chances that risk their lives. Maybe Dumbledore is testing it out. And then on the flipside, the fact that McGonagall's a very strong witch in her own right. But obviously Dumbledore is like, "Look, I know you want to take on the burdens of the world, and I know you want to worry about everybody, but let me do that. I'm worrying about it," and maybe that's one of the reasons he feels guilty. "Maybe I could have stopped this all if I would have leaned towards the Dark Arts. Maybe I could have stopped this, so maybe I have guilt on my hands, and I'm trying to make you not think of these things, and so have a candy."
And chill the fuck out.
And I think he's also embracing the future because now the world's wide so why think of the past and think of sad things when you should be thinking of the prosperity that is anew because He Who Must Not Be Named is gone?
Christina Kann 40:51
We call him Voldemort in this club.
Brooke Matherly 40:53
The other thing to do with the name that kind of honestly pissed me off as I went through: everyone does the "He Who Must Not Be Named." And like Voldemort, in and of itself, is a nonsense name.
Christina Kann 41:04
And people be like shuddering and gasping.
Brooke Matherly 41:13
There is no equivalent, I don't think, in our society.
Christina Kann 41:18
Brooke Matherly 41:19
Yeah, like I'm fine saying Hitler. To be fair, I don't think he's gonna pop up in my living room anytime soon. But it pissed me off as a kid that basically they're afraid to say someone's self-invented nickname. And is there a lamer thing than a self-invented nickname?
Christina Kann 41:39
Besides the whole drill debacle, what do you guys remember about reading this as a kid? For example, I vividly remember reading the description of Dumbledore for the first time. I'm pretty sure, with a couple exceptions, that this is the first fantasy book I ever really read. And the way she describes him is positively and chanting with the twinkling eye and half-moon spectacles, and I'm pretty sure he's wearing high heels. Yeah, high heeled boots. I was like, "This guy's badass."
The two things that I definitely remember the most, for some reason -- I don't know why they went together -- The first was that apparently this lady can turn into a cat. I don't think they ever directly say that she turns into a cat. They referenced that she was the cat but they never referenced the transformation. And the second thing is for whatever reason, I latched on to the idea that Put-outer, not for the reason that it would be super important later on. But it always pissed me off when I watched the movies because you see the light travel to Put-outer, whereas in the book it very clearly says that he clicks it and the light just goes out."
Christina Kann 42:43
That's like a great question in general -- You know, there's a lot of fantasy out there with a lot of different magical systems and the extent to which they are subject to physics, you know, definitely exists on a gradient.
Christina Kann 42:59
No, I think the Put-outer's the thing I remember most as a kid. Rereading it now as an adult, I'm drawn to the details and the Dursleys and everything, but really, it's that Puter-Outer. It so vividly painted the street for me, because I imagined streetlights going out on a small street. But also I love the word, "Puter-outer," because it really introduces you to how wizards construct things. But now as an adult, I think, "Man, this book must have been crazy in German," because Germans use a lot of compound words. So like, if you're a German translator, you're like, "Thank God, there's an easy word that I can translate and easily put into a German word." It was a cool way to introduce you to these crazy weird wizarding concepts.
Brooke Matherly 43:42
It's also such a delightful place to essentially start us off with magic.
Christina Kann 43:48
Ease us into it.
Brooke Matherly 43:49
Yeah, because it's such a unimpressive bit of magic. And yet it's so clearly nothing else could have caused it. We haven't actually used the word "magic" at all.
Christina Kann 44:01
And we don't, I think, for a couple of chapters.
Brooke Matherly 44:03
No, and we're kind of still not sure. We know that the Potters are a thing. We know people wearing robes is weird. So all we know about this world -- this is the first time we see something that actually goes wrong. As a kid, the idea that owls are around in the daytime probably goes over most people's head. It went over my head.
Christina Kann 44:22
And also, that's another country. There could be so many owls there.
I've been to the zoo. I saw owls in the daytime.
Brooke Matherly 44:29
I also want to say the only thing I remember about Dumbledore is the purple cloak because purple is my power color.
Haley Simpkiss 44:35
The whole thing hooked me, obviously, but the one image that always stayed with me, that just stuck in my head, was after all of the lights on the street have gone out and the only light remaining are the little green pinpricks of McGonagall's eyes as the cat.
Grace Ball 44:52
I just love the fact that immediately I love Hagrid. He speaks differently than everyone else. And I remember noticing that.
Christina Kann 45:02
Was this the first time you ever read a dialect? Probably.
Grace Ball 45:04
Yeah, I think it was.
Christina Kann 45:05
I think me too. It's hard to get into, but she does it in such a way where it's really organic.
Grace Ball 45:09
Christina Kann 45:10
As editors that can be quite hard, we know. Yeah, definitely Hagrid stands out. Yeah, it's kind of like a lot at the end of the chapter there. Hagrid shows up, he's on the flying bike and he's talking about these other characters, and he's crying, and then there's a baby. It's a lot. But definitely, I think that Hagrid establishes his character in the first sentence and it stays completely consistent throughout the entire series, and I think that's why he's such a beloved character. You never doubt him for one second.
Brooke Matherly 45:36
I would like to ask what you guys think Hagrid's physique is like, because he is listed as being twice as tall as a normal man, five times as wide, which does not sound like great proportions, and yet the last thing we hear of him is his vast muscular arms. And I will just say -- you guys, we're gonna have to post a picture of Michael. Michael has an almost ideal male physique.
Haley Simpkiss 45:59
This is what peak performance looks like.
Christina Kann 46:05
Brooke Matherly 46:05
He has deeply muscular arms. If you need a visual at home, like Henry Cavill. But he is certainly not proportionally three times wider than he is tall. That is weird.
Christina Kann 46:22
It's like dwarf strength. You know what I mean? Wider than tall that's a dwarf thing.
I pulled up a picture, and the closest thing that I've always been able to think of is Tyson Fury, who I know for I think everyone at this table is that maybe Michael means nothing. Tyson Fury to me is like the epitome of really tall with really big arms, he still has kind of a belly and like--
Brooke Matherly 46:46
I do not see those as being muscular arms, though. Those look deeply like just arms.
Christina Kann 46:53
A lot of really big dudes who are sometimes really fat have to be super fucking strong under there or else they would never be able to carry their own weight.
Haley Simpkiss 47:02
I feel like it's like a power lifter on a different scale of size.
Power lifters don't work their arms.
The movie ruins the image to me, because I think the movie, of all characters, they did such a great job of painting the character of Hagrid in the movies, just what you imagine him to be also how you imagined the act and sound.
The other thing I want to point out to is that at a later point, I believe it says that Hagrid's hands are as big trashcan lids.
That is the most terrifying aspect. Twelve feet tall? Fine. Five times wider than normal human? Fine. But if you have hands that are like a foot in diameter, my god.
No no no, you guys are so wrong. She was talking about IKEA trash can lids, much smaller, European-sized trash can lids.
Christina Kann 48:12
Who has seen Disney's Brave? Um, Daddy?
Haley Simpkiss 48:17
Christina Kann 48:18
I'm trying to find a good picture to show the class. I can't find a good full-body picture.
Brooke Matherly 48:27
Dad from Brave is probably Hagrid proportions except with more dolphin-shaped feet.
Christina Kann 48:33
And not a peg-leg?
Brooke Matherly 48:35
Anyone could do an edit for me of the dad from Brave but with Hagrid hair and dolphins for feet, please @ me, @passion_for_parks. Would love to see that.
Christina Kann 48:46
We will post any fan art on our Instagram.
Similar to the dad from How to Train Your Dragon.
Christina Kann 48:55
I think that might have actually been the one that I was thinking of.
Brooke Matherly 49:00
So are we saying that really at his core--
Christina Kann 49:05
He's a viking.
Christina Kann 49:05
Hagrid is viking.
Christina Kann 49:07
He's a viking. And you know what? The fact that my brain went to Gimli at first with the proportions -- we have previously said in an unrelated conversation that Gimli fucks like a viking. I think this is all related.
Brooke Matherly 49:19
By the way, that was 100% me. I rank Gimli very high in the "people I would fuck from Lord of the Rings list."
Mary Clay Watt 49:27
Haley Simpkiss 49:27
He is a perfect gentleman!
Mary Clay Watt 49:29
You can cut this out. I need to know, what is your list?
As her fiance, I can say she has made me crouch down and grow a beard. It's very weird.
Brooke Matherly 49:43
I have tried to convince Michael to dress as a viking for Halloween every year we've been dating.
Mary Clay Watt 49:48
Who is Gimli above?
Brooke Matherly 49:51
Gimli is for sure above Legolas. Yep, I know.
Christina Kann 49:57
I love an elfy boy.
Mary Clay Watt 49:58
I love an elf boy.
Brooke Matherly 50:00
Gimli is my one night stand number one because Gimli would be the perfect kind of guy: he's going to be kind to you; he will definitely be chill about it; but he will also pick you up and fuck you against the wall, no questions asked.
Mary Clay Watt 50:14
When has Gimli in his life ever been chill?
Brooke Matherly 50:16
No no, he's not chill. He's chill like amongst his friends when he needs to be, but he's got a raw passion in him combined with kind of a brute strength thing. Happy to come on your podcast and discuss who I would fuck from Lord of the Rings.
Christina Kann 50:29
Does anyone else have any fucking thoughts--?
Any FUCKING thoughts?
Christina Kann 50:35
No, does anyone else have any GOT-DAMNED thoughts?
Mary Clay Watt 50:41
I think Dumbledore's a bottom for sure.
Christina Kann 50:49
Why, because he's frail?
Mary Clay Watt 50:58
Grindlewald is obviously a top.
Christina Kann 50:59
Okay we're getting into some really messy shit--
That's what Grindlewald said!
Christina Kann 51:04
Regardless of how I feel about the Fantastic Beast movies, I think that is spot-on.
No, no no I'm gonna say I'm gonna say Dumbledore is straight and he's actually a creeper. Once again, going back to that "let's go to the party" thing--
Brooke Matherly 51:19
He's on the record gay though.
Brooke Matherly 51:25
All I'm saying is he's handing mysterious candy to McGonagall and then he's like, "Yo, let's go to this party." The book came out in 1997. And if you look at the music coming out in that time, Spice Girls dominating the airwaves. I mean, dominating. We're looking at like number-one British hit songs. I mean, Spice Girls pop up like four or five times. And also, this is very important, and I think this actually influences the plot. Just hear me out. Spiceworld came out in 1997. And if you're a gay wizard, you're definitely hitting that shit and you're like, "Yo, like, let's not do sadness. Let's party with the Spice Girls."
Brooke Matherly 52:04
Since we now know that Spice Girls was a number-one hit, I like to think that at these parties, Spice Up Your Life is the official song of celebrating Voldemort's death.
I do think that this chapter, especially on a reread -- cuz I'll never be able to remember exactly how it made me feel the first time -- but it definitely feels like you're on a roller coaster and you can hear the clickety clickety click. He goes to work and he gets bumped into, and clickety click click. And then he's coming home and he's seeing owls, click click click. And then you see what's obviously McGonagall.
Christina Kann 52:43
Because of the way you're reading this book, the things that he's questioning, you know. "Did they say Harry?" and you're like "The name of this fucking book is Harry Potter. Yeah, they said Harry." Owls and shit, that's on the cover. Maybe not these other editions, but on mine, that is the prominent thing on the cover. You, for like five seconds, know more than the book.
Brooke Matherly 53:07
I really really liked that that it basically ends with a visual montage that covers over the next years. "Not knowing he was famous, not knowing who would be woken in a few hours' time by Mrs. Dursley's scream as she opened the front door to put out the milk bottles." So that's your first image. "...nor that he would spend the next few weeks being prodded and pinched by his cousin, Dudley." And then, "He couldn't know at this very moment, people meeting in secret all over the country were holding up their glasses and saying in hushed voices 'to Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived!'" Ending in an exclamation point, which I quite like. It's a strong literary choice. You get this visual moment when they find him, and you can almost hear a song playing in background. She opens the door, she sees the baby, and then it's like them sitting on the couch watching Dudley just like poke at this new addition. And then it's interspaced with a bunch of people in wizarding outfits cheersing and just being so so elated while you get the contrast of this family whose whole world has just been ruined.
Christina Kann 54:12
And it's funny because you don't get that montage in the movies. It's in the books only.
Mary Clay Watt 54:17
I also just wanted to point out another line that I think from our context, knowing what we know now and visiting back to one of the greatest franchises of all time, where McGonagall says, "He'll be famous, a legend. I wouldn't be surprised if today was known as Harry Potter Day in the future. There will be books written about Harry. Every child in our world will know his name." I love that line so much because obviously when she was writing it, she wouldn't have known that it was a fourth wall break. She never would have imagined that every child in the world would know the name Harry Potter.
Christina Kann 54:56
It has two meanings.
Mary Clay Watt 54:57
And now, because of everything that we know, it carries so much meaning for this whole series.
Christina Kann 55:06
I think something too -- especially that last paragraph and how it creates that duality -- something consider is, yes, the book's named Harry Potter, but we don't know if Harry as a hero or what he is. But in that final paragraph, we are exposed to a common theme that is the hero of literary circles. It's like almost like Batman, where he can take it, whereas the rest of us can enjoy and appreciate our lives, and here he is, before he even has a choice, or even has the ability to think or understand his part, he is automatically already taking the harder road, the harder thing, and I really really love that setting, because it sets us to know that Harry is a hero.
Another fun little fan theory that I've always loved is the idea that JK Rowling is actually a rogue wizard who just took the most well-known and most common story in all of wizard-dom and was like, "I couldn't make it as a wizard. I'm gonna fucking write the Harry Potter series. I'm going to tell his life," and Rita Skeeter'd her way into fame and fortune. It's gotten to the point where it took off so quickly, and she sent it to all these publishers, and even though it was a great story, the reason that they didn't publish it is because there was at least one wizard working there, or someone connected to the wizard world, who was like, "Oh fuck, no, you're not doing this." And so she kept clandestinely sending it out, and finally she got into one tiny little publisher was like, "Okay, yeah, we can do this," and it turns out that they don't realize they're basically printing out an encyclopedia entry.
Mary Clay Watt 56:38
From her perspective as wizard JK Rowling, this is a biography. This is a very long, dense biography.
We think it's fantasy, but in reality, all the wizards are like, "Fuck, they all know but they don't realize they know."
Brooke Matherly 56:51
She put in a lot of messy teen romance if this is a biography, and I'm creeped out.
Christina Kann 56:57
I think that is a great place to end this episode. Do you guys feel good about it?
Christina Kann 57:02
Personally, after reading this chapter, I'm incredibly stoked. When I started reading those first words I just really -- I said once and I'll say it again -- it's like coming home. Thank you guys for coming here today. Thanks to all our listeners for bearing with us. Yeah, I'm stoked. We can go around the circle, maybe, if anyone has anything to plug, anything cool you've been reading or watching lately that you want to share. Feel free to say "pass" if you want to pass, but you have to say it so that people can keep track of who's who.
Haley Simpkiss 57:34
Christina Kann 57:36
Starting out strong.
Haley Simpkiss 57:37
I have nothing going on!
Christina Kann 57:39
And I told you you couldn't say The Witcher, so here we are.
Grace Ball 57:43
I've been watching Outlander.
Christina Kann 57:45
Cool! That book's on my shelf which is why I haven't seen it.
Grace Ball 57:48
I want to read it, but too late.
Christina Kann 57:51
You're enjoying it?
Grace Ball 57:52
Christina Kann 57:53
It seems pretty badass.
Grace Ball 57:54
Christina Kann 57:54
So you recommend Outlander?
Grace Ball 57:55
Mary Clay Watt 57:57
I'm going to plug my Lord of the Rings podcast like I'll probably do every single week. Look it up @tolkienaboutpod on Twitter and Instagram. I'm reading Lord of the Rings for the first time. If you have not watched any of the Good Place, watch all of it now and then prepare yourself. I say this coming off of -- it was like a week ago that the finale premiered, and I cried so many tears. I want to go on and on and on, but I won't, about how the Good Place, I think, is one of the most perfect television series created, because it's an example of what happens when the creators put the story first, before money. Instead of the producers saying, "Oh, this is so popular. Let's renew it again, and let's keep bringing it back," the producers and writers were like, "No, we have this story in mind, and we're going to write it and that's it."
So I have two things that I just recently have gone back and read. One I finished and one I restarted. I just finished -- I'd never watched season three or four of Sherlock, and so I just watched those for the first time. Holy shit, the second to last episode of that series, the last five minutes of it is like -- I don't know if they meant it this way, but it's the most terrifying thing I've ever seen in my life. The other thing is I'm rewatching The West Wing, which is--
Christina Kann 58:55
I know that's one of your favorites.
I first watched it with my parents when I was like 11 years old, and I've rewatched that at least once every two or three years, and I'm going back and rewatching it so that's what I've been doing.
Brooke Matherly 59:36
I have a small podcast to recommend for you which is Jules from N-Zed. Jules is a girl used to know very well while I was living in New Zealand. Her name is Julia Bergeser. She is doing an excellent podcast about New Zealand. It's a funny, tiny country if you know nothing about it. It is a delightful podcast. They're short, 30 minute episodes, and she just goes in depth about random things about New Zealand. And I think it's a beautiful introduction to the country. And I think it goes so far beyond most people's reference point, which is just Lord of the Rings or the fact that there are beautiful, sweeping landscapes, and takes you through things like the history and the mythology. It's a really gorgeous podcast, Jules from N-Zed, highly recommend that.
You can follow me or weird cars @weirdcarsrva on Instagram. Also big shout out to the fact that there was a Super Bowl once that didn't actually have the Patriots in it and didn't actually have Tom Brady. Also, if you're a huge fan of Harry Potter, there's a really good movie that came out in the '90s that I think really helps solidify and create that bond if you're reading right now. A lot of fantasy and a lot about empowerment, female empowerment. Check it out, you might find on Netflix or wherever: Spiceworld.
Christina Kann 1:00:52
You almost made me spit butterbeer all over my book!
Really just really great. I think it just sets the mood. So check it out sometime.
Brooke Matherly 1:00:58
Michael, did you just Google to see if it was available on Netflix before you recommended it?
Christina Kann 1:01:02
Yeah, yeah, I did.
Grace Ball 1:01:04
That's the only responsible thing to do.
Michael, I love you.
Christina Kann 1:01:08
If you're local to Richmond, I've been taking improv classes at Coalition Theater recently. We have a lot of really cool shows, a couple every week, so if you are local, definitely check that out. Also, I just finished reading the Vicious series by Victoria Schwab; Grace recommended it to me. If you're looking for something that is incredibly more metal than Harry Potter -- just so much murder! It's so good, so I couldn't recommend it more. Thank you guys so much for being here. Now get the fuck out of my house.
Christina Kann 1:01:45
The Restricted Section was created and hosted by me, Christina Kann, based on the book series by JK Rowling. All music by Ryan Kann. Logo by Michael Hardison. Technical support from Sean Watson. Don't forget to follow us on Instagram @restrictedsectionpod or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to hear your thoughts, feelings, complaints, conspiracy theories, or lavish praise.
Brooke Matherly 1:02:14
I am deeply in love with the description of "Hagrid's feet in their leather boots were like baby dolphins."
Christina Kann 1:02:25
Mary Clay Watt 1:02:26
I missed that!
Brooke Matherly 1:02:29
That simultaneously paint such a picture and paints no picture at all.
It shows that those boots serve a porpoise.
Christina Kann 1:02:40
Andrew, you have been voted off the island.
Mary Clay Watt 1:02:43
America has voted. You're voted out of Hogwarts.
Brooke Matherly 1:02:47
I'm imagining a dolphin. And there's obviously the size comparison. But furthermore, I'm wondering about the shape of these boots because dolphins kind of have a curved shape to them. That unless it's inverted -- but even if it's inverted that's a real--
Christina Kann 1:03:04
That's like a leprechaun shoe.
Brooke Matherly 1:03:05
Yeah, and it's got a fanned heel on it at that point.
Christina Kann 1:03:10
Show us your fan art of these dolphin shoes.
Hagrid needs a lot of arch support, that's the problem.
Haley Simpkiss 1:03:16
I think we're all misreading this line. Clearly what it means is that his boots are made from the skins of baby dolphins.
Christina Kann 1:03:23
No, he would never! First of all, he has no idea what a dolphin is. That's a muggle animal.
Brooke Matherly 1:03:27
And that's why I think he would totally go for it. It's a muggle animal. It's kind of one of those things where they're like, I's baby dolphin boots," and he's like, "The gray looks cool. I don't know."
I just want to point out we're assuming that it's a muggle animal.
Brooke Matherly 1:03:40
Christina Kann 1:03:42
Dolphins are basic as fuck, okay? They are definitely muggles.
Brooke Matherly 1:03:45
They are the symbol of a '90s tramp stamp. There is no way that wizards are in on that. And also we do have the definitive texts of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and dolphins are not in there.
Christina Kann 1:03:55
Also shout out to my best friend and Harry Potter pal, Alexis, who knows that I deeply love dolphins. They've always been my favorite animal.
Mary Clay Watt 1:04:07
I thought you were about to reveal that you have a dolphin tramp stamp.
Ask her what a favorite chapter is, snd we can try and do a different night of recording where she can come.
Christina Kann 1:04:15
She's invited to all of them. Alexis, you're invited to all of them.
Dolphins are not, though.
Christina Kann 1:04:21
Christina Kann 1:04:23
Any dolphin that turns up will get turned into footwear.