Hello magical friends, and welcome to this year’s birthday bonus of WZRD Radio! I’m your hostwitch Bess and I hope you’re all ready for this epic episode! TC from Pottership and I talk about our unpopular Harry Potter opinions. Personally, I had a blast and I hope you do too.
We’re going to dive right into it, after the music.
This is Totally Knuts and “In This Fairy Tale.”
That was “In This Fairy Tale,” by Totally Knuts [lyrics], “Weasley Family Circle” from Blue and Yellow Wand, and Los Aurores with “Guerra Magica.”
Here’s TC from Pottership!
Welcome to the show, TC of Pottership Pod!
I am very excited for this bonus episode because it’s different from normal, nothing to do with wizard rock, but to do with a mutual complaint that we had.
But before we get there, would you mind introducing yourself to WZRD’s listeners?
TC: I would not. And thank you so much, Bess, for having me. This is gonna be awesome. Um, I am TC, as you already said, from the Pottership Podcast. I am a Ravenclaw, a singer, although I do not yet have a wizard rock band. I would like to do wizard, uh, R&B is what I’m hoping to do one day. Uh, <laugh>, I just don’t play an instrument to be able to do it. And, um, I am here to continue our fabulous conversation in defense of a few things. <laugh>
We are so coming back to your wizard rock future.
But first, tell us a little about Pottership.
TC: Oh, okay. Um, well, Pottership is essentially myself, my sister, and our honorary sister. We’re all huge Potter fans, and we like to talk about the various Potter characters and what their relationship is to each other. Whether they’re friends or enemies or barely interact. And we just have head canons for what we think their relationships would’ve been. It’s a way of sort of dissecting the people, the characters, the ideas in the Potter world without, you know, rehashing again and again, just rereading the books and talking about those through. So, for example, we had one episode that was Mrs. Weasley and Mrs. Granger. We never see them really interact except one or two times in Diagon Alley. But I imagine that there was quite a lot of correspondence between those two. And they ended up as in-laws later. How was that? What was, what was Christmas dinner like at the Grangers versus the, you know, the Weasleys? So we had, those are the kinds of things we like to chat about.
What a fascinating process. How do you pick the individuals and do you ever do… I don’t think there’s a better term right now, but like crack ships?
TC: Well, I’ll come back to that. How we pick whatever strikes our fancy, or if a listener sort of says “Hey, I’d really like you to talk about dot, dot, dot” We love when listeners tell us something, and we do actually invite them on if they want to talk with us about a topic. Uh, believe it or not, we had never thought to do Hermione and, um, Viktor Krum. <laugh> Of all the couples, and, uh, we had a lovely lady, uh, Zane, who asked us to discuss it. So she joined us. It was one of my favorite episodes. It was so much fun. So yeah, they just come out. Uh, as for crack ships, I want to clarify what you mean by crack ships before I delve in.
It’s the ones that make no sense, who have nothing in common have… have possibly never met or would have no reason to meet. So, uh, the Grangers are great. Mr. Granger and… Peeves.
TC: Yes. Oh, we do those all the time. We love to do those because we get to do a little head canon. Um, matter of fact, someone brought to us the Hogwarts… Hogwarts building itself and its relationship to the rest of the people living inside it. That was a really interesting one. Uh, so yeah, we’ll do any of those things. And we also have a, a bit where we write, uh, Tindr profiles for all <laugh> for the characters we talked about that day. Um, I have to tell you: writing a Tindr profile for Hogwarts? Very interesting process. <laugh>
“Built like a brick house.”
TC: <laugh>. Exactly.
I’m trying to untangle the next bit, which is what we’re gonna talk about and how we met <laugh>, which are very much entwined.
TC: They are.
Because I met you at my first Leaky, which was LeakyCon Orlando.
TC: I did not know that was your first Leaky!
TC: Oh, wow. That was— Oh, wow. No, my first was actually Boston the year, uh, 2019.
Lucky. Yeah. This, it was all new to me.
TC: Oh, wow.
And, uh, we were both taking shifts at the Wizarding Wireless Collective booth.
TC: Mhm. <affirmative>
And I think probably I started one of my favorite complaints about the Harry Potter series. And you were like “yes, absolutely. And!”
And then like two weeks later, I was trying to think of what to do for my bonus episodes. And I was like “you know what? I wanna complain some more.”
And I think I know the perfect partner.
TC: I do not know what you mean. <laugh>
So what we had done was bond over our unpopular Harry Potter opinion about Ron.
TC: Yes. Who is not the devil incarnate or an evil embodiment of toxic masculinity, despite the fact that many people think he is.
Hear hear. <laugh>
So, uh, I messaged and said “I wanna talk unpopular opinions.”
Now to be clear, for magical friends who are listening, unpopular doesn’t necessarily mean like controversial, or spiciest hot take. Just the ones that most people don’t seem to share.
TC: Yes. And I do have another one that we can talk about later that I think might get me banned? But it’s okay. I’ve, I, I stand by it <laugh>.
Well, I can’t wait to hear what that is.
But it made sense to me to start with our first one that Ron, who gets a lot of crap in the fandom to the point that “Ron bashing” is a tag I see a lot on a oh three gets a really raw deal from the fandom.
TC: He does. And I think that is a new, a newer, um, more modern thing that’s happened. And it’s sort of happened as a collective thing. I think when the books first came out Ron was, you know, the likable best friend. The guy, everybody kinda was like “oh, he’s he’s sweet, he’s funny. He’s, he’s wild.” And I, I think two things happened. I think one sensitivities in people’s opinions in general changed and grew up and evolved. But more importantly, the movies came out. And the movies basically dumbed down Ron quite a bit and elevated Hermione quite a bit at the expense of Ron. And, uh, I, I think those two things came to a perfect storm where who was once a lovable everyman became “why aren’t you better and perfect?” <laugh>
I haven’t looked into it too deeply, but I kind of suspect that the, the concept of “purity culture” also plays into this where you’re either good, right, and moral or a villain.
Which is really hard on teenagers.
TC: It is, it is. And honestly it goes against, one of the things I like best about the Potter books, is that very few of the characters are pure anything. There’s good things about Voldemort, as weird as that is to say. And <laugh> there are bad things about Dumbledore and there are good things about, let’s say Barty Crouch Jr. You know, and he was obviously a good teacher. Like, uh, the characters are much more nuanced than a strictly good-bad, right-evil, black-white world really can take in. And I think that’s also why unpopular opinion alert people are turning on Dumbledore because Dumbledore is not the embodiment of all the good. He has flaws, so therefore he’s bad. And I don’t think those things are exclusive.
TC: The world is not divided between good people and Death Eaters, my friends.
And obviously growing up I identified with Hermione because she was The Girl, and that was what you got when you were the girl—
But like, as an adult, looking back at my teenage years, I see a lot of me in Ron. I made bad mistakes. I hurt people. I made selfish choices trying to find my individuality.
TC: Absolutely. I think I, I… I 100% relate to Ron. I relate to being the younger sibling who’s slightly overshadowed sometimes I relate to being insecure sometimes and feeling the need to prove myself. And sometimes my insecurity gets in the way of my common sense. And <laugh>, I study when I have to, but sometimes I don’t feel like studying. And that does not make me dumb. That just makes me, I think, normal. Uh, <laugh> I was not a straight A student, but I was an A/B student. And I think if we really look at the books, Ron was kind of a B student. And that’s not a bad student at all. He’s just not Hermione. And I think that’s another thing that people tend to do is they, because they end up together, they compare him to Hermione. And let’s face it, she was the girl. We were girls, a lot of us were females. And we relate to her a little bit because we want the perfect boyfriend and the perfect this, that and the other. And lo and behold, he’s not perfect. But guess what? None of us are. <laugh>
How dare you. I am flawless. My teenager years were a mess, but currently I am basically perfection.
TC: <laugh>. Exactly. That’s exactly what I was gonna say. I was perfect as a teenager, of course I was, I did everything right.
Oh, sure, sure.
TC: I never guessed wrong about anything.
Mm-mm. Mm-mm. <affirmative>
And I think about it a lot in terms of like the contemporary YAs that, you know, I read. Like Princess Diaries or the, the Angus Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging where the characters are allowed to be messy and make terrible choices and bad decisions. And like Ron would be the perfect protagonist for one of those. You know, the climax would be when he blew up at Harry and Hermione in book seven and left.
And then the, the resolution and denoument would be him coming to terms with that and coming back a better person to make up for it.
So I think if he were POV we’d pretty much by definition have a lot more sympathy for him, seeing ourselves in that as opposed to just the the judgmental crowd.
TC: Yeah, I would, I would definitely agree. I think there are some people—and the first LeakyCon I went to, as I said earlier, was, was Boston. And they had the house meetups. And one of the things that was very funny about the house meetups is I went to a few of them, not just Ravenclaw, cuz I found it interesting. And the Hufflepuff house, one of the first things somebody brought up is the concept of Ron should have been a Hufflepuff, Hermione should have been a Ravenclaw, you know, that concept of splitting them out. And so many ‘puffs got mad. Infuriated by the concept because Ron betrayed them in the woods and they cannot let go of that betrayal. And then the same conversation came up in the Ravenclaw room and they were like “eh, he had a bad day. He was already, he was, you know, influenced by the necklace. He was already feeling low and tired and wet and terrified.” Cuz I don’t know if you’ve ever went hunting after a mass murdering killer who wants to kill your best friend, but
Oh yeah, that’s a Tuesday.
TC: Yeah. I’m gonna assume it’s a little stressful, um, <laugh> and can cause you to act out. Uh, and it, it was really fascinating because there’s a, there’s this certain level of, you know, if you do believe in the ideas of the different houses, the idea of loyalty being at the end all-be all hard work and loyalty. And Ron had a moment or two because, you know, it happened in book four, he’s had moments where he’s not… his loyalty is tested because of his emotions and angers and insecurities. But the part that I found interesting is how many people can’t forgive when he comes back. You know, it’s like he’s genuinely sorry. He genuinely wanted to come back. He knows his mistakes, he knows his flaws. That is part of growing up and part of learning who you are as a person. And part of being a mature adult is also learning to forgive people and give them that space to mature. And I think it’s, I think it’s fascinating that different levels of loyalty can color your opinion a bit on that.
It’s sometimes scary for me to watch that happen in fandom where Ron made a terrible mistake and then did everything in his power to make up for it. And… he’s not forgiven by people who were not actually injured by this.
TC: Right. <laugh>
You know? It makes it really hard to exist in a space where if you make a mistake of any degree—
TC: Mhm. <affirmative>
—that’s it. You are, you are unforgiven forever.
TC: It makes it for a lonely world, I would say, because all of us have done something that is not easy to forgive for someone, you know? It’s, it’s human. And I think that’s the thing that’s so interesting. Harry is your hero. He is a flawed hero in some ways, but overall, his hearts in the right place. We hear everything from his perspective. We know where he’s coming from because we’re hearing it from his perspective. And he’s the hero. Ron is the everyman. And I think that’s what people have trouble forgiving, is that you don’t necessarily feel comfortable looking at your own flaws and seeing that you are human. And, and like, here’s a, here’s a classic one. People get angry because Ron said “oh no, a werewolf!” Now let’s, let’s, let’s look at this from another perspective. He grew up in the wizarding world his entire life.
He has heard that werewolves are dangerous creatures that basically turn other people into werewolves. They’re wild animals, they’re barely human anymore. He meets a nice one, but it’s still a knee-jerk reaction that the boogeyman is back there gonna be the boogeyman. And so people get mad like “oh, he’s racist and he learned to be racist from Molly because he’s short minded, because he hates werewolves.” Fast forward, Molly freaks out a werewolf and Ron says “mom, calm down.” And people forget. They see the sin, they forget the redemption. And I think that’s a lot of what happens. And again, somewhat, and I admit I’m a book purist, but somewhat because of the movies, because we’ll see some of his flaws as he’s the foil in the films and we don’t see the redemption moments in the films. For another classic example, the house elves. The big kiss is because he finally puts the house elves first and wants them to be safe and sees them as not just these creatures, but these beings that need their protection. And that was Hermione’s final straw. “He’s perfect. Now he’s mine. I’m so happy.” I will admit, as a full grown adult, cuz I was fully grown when I read the books, I cried like a baby at that kiss. I was so happy cuz I was cheering for Ron and Hermione from book one, um, <laugh>. So we don’t get to see that, that that moment and makes a difference.
And I think a lot of, uh, what you said about him holding up the mirror to us is uncomfortable. No one wants to, to look at that. We’re just gonna pretend to be perfect.
Uh, you said that you’ve been doing a reread, so, and you were coming prepared <laugh> with some of your fresh, unpopular opinions. What do you have?
TC: <laugh> Well, I have another unpopular opinion and I, I’m, I’m worried, but everybody will have to forgive me. Um, Hermione Granger is not perfect.
You get out.
TC: I know, I know. And I love her. I love her. But one of the things that people forget when they, when you read the books again versus the movies, Hermione is judgmental and narrow minded and she’s very, um, rigid in a lot of ways. And what makes her arc so great is that she is willing to sort of stretch and be a little more relaxed about the rules. And she is willing to look at things from a different perspective than just “A to B to B to C to C to D.” That’s her growth and that’s her her change. But she’s kinda rigid. And I, I tell you a, a movie-ism that makes me, I, I’m not gonna lie, it infuriates me. It actually angers me. <laugh> Book seven, when they turned it into Hermione’s idea to jump on the dragon in fury infuriates me.
Like, I, I realize that you want to create a, a female lead that is gung-ho Wonder Woman for the young viewers. And I, I get the concept, but that is a hundred percent not her character. She was brave because she chose moments of bravery. She decided to go over—sort of like Ron again with the spiders. You get past what scares you for the greater good, for the right thing to do. That’s what made her might great. That’s what made her growth amazing. She was not just Wonder Woman who could do in all things. Hermione’s not perfect. She’s wonderful. I love her. She’s not perfect. <laugh>
I have nothing to add. You are, you are right, and I think it’s part of that holding up a mirror to your own flaws thing again. I listen to Witch, Please and you know, they do their rereads and and bring in theory and they hit up against it a lot where Hermione is judgey and self-righteous. You know, the way she handled—wanting to free house elves – good. Wanting to unilaterally make that decision for people – not her best choice. Now I still wrestle with what like the best thing she could have done was, but—
You know, anytime you have to trick someone into doing the thing you want, you really need to examine your choices.
TC: I agree a hundred percent. I will say, the house selves are always a tough one. I think the author just wrote herself into a bad corner and didn’t know how to get out of that one. Like she, she fucked up. I mean, I think though the, the savior complex that Harry has is seen in Hermione with the house elves to a point where sh—it also shows her stubbornness cuz she digs her heels in so much that even when faced with the house elves, she still wants to save them more than listen to them. And it, yeah, it’s, it’s a challenge. I think another one is Luna, her relationship to Luna. Like “you, you are a young muggle girl who just found out a couple of years ago that unicorns are real and you are incapable of believing other creatures could possibly exist that you don’t know about from a textbook?” Really? Like… <laugh>
There’s that joke. You know “grant me the confidence of a middle-aged white man?” Sometimes I feel like that about Hermione and her approach to the unbelievable. Divination? Clearly not a thing. Luna’s animals? Impossible.
You have a magic wand.
No one in the series has ever explained how magic works even a little bit. Like there—what is it? “There’s more unknown under the heavens Horatio.”
TC: Oh, I like that you were going for that quote. I don’t remember it right now. Yeah.
Me either, but it’ll sound very impressive to everyone who has also not read Shakespeare. <laugh>
TC: Yeah. <laugh>
I’m gonna google it now. That’s gonna bother me.
TC: I— oh my God, you are such a Ravenclaw, I love you. Uh, <laugh>. You get me. While you google, I will, uh, I’ll throw out another little weirdness. It’s an obvious unpopular opinion that I do not think Dumbledore is the end all be all of evil. And I do not think that doing things for the greater good is inherently bad. Sometimes doing things for the greater good is for the greater good. <laugh>
First of all, it is “there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy,” which does encompass everything I was trying to get there. Second of all, oh, Dumbledore is hard. Dumbledore is hard for me. Cuz like some of the things he did were objectively hurtful. But also everything he did did lead to Voldemort dying. It, ugh!
TC: It, it’s tough. We always kind of refer to him as a general with his troops or, or the chess master. And it’s unfair to say this, but it’s also I think pretty fair; generals are going to sacrifice people. Generals have to, that’s their job. They have to look at the bigger picture. And it sucks if you are one of the people sacrificed or love one of the people sacrificed. And it’s, there’s no way around it. And that’s the other thing and another thing that I like that Hermione does say, and I I agree with a hundred percent when Harry gets angry that Dumbledore in the same years when he was 17, 18, was talking about domination over muggles. Hermione says “but he changed. He learned from those ways and he changed and he dedicated the rest of his life to not being that person anymore.” And I do think intentions, reasons, your, your motivations matter. And I think that that’s a problem I think a lot of people have with Dumbledore, is because they can’t get past the actions to understand the motivations were still pure.
I think it’s just, I could never be the person who has to make tough choices. I just don’t have that in me. I am a soft marshmallow. Everyone would die because I would be like “well we, we have to go back.”
TC: Right? <laugh> Same.
And that’s why you don’t want me in charge.
TC: No, I get that. I I I could not be a general, I could maybe be like three people under the general? <laugh>
TC: Like I can, I can be a Lupin. I’ll go and take care of these people in my little group and we’re gonna go fight and hopefully we’ll all come back alive and yay.
TC: I I can’t be a general. I I can’t think 600 times ahead of the, the bad guy.
And you actually made an interesting point that made me wonder… Harry feels incapable of forgiving Dumbledore for buying into Grindlewald’s stuff. And that reflects the fandom’s inability to forgive Ron for his poor choices. And there’s sort of a bit of wisdom, uh, “no one is too smart to fall for a cult. If you think that you are, you’re already halfway there.”
TC: Yes. That’s so true. And I’m scared cause I just finished watching a documentary about a particular cult recently. Are you in my living room?
TC: Are you hiding? <laugh>
Yep. I, I brought you a stack of boxes and then just got shy.
TC: Nice. Nice. <laugh>
TC is moving y’all.
TC: And as you can see, I am surrounded by boxes, or at least Bess can see, I am surrounded by boxes. <laugh>
So maybe all of our unpopular opinions are just gonna boil down to no one wants to admit that they are flawed and vulnerable.
TC: I think there’s a lot to say for that. I think there’s a, there’s a lot of truth in that. Um, yeah cuz who wants that? Who wants to be vulnerable and who wants to be… who wants to admit that they are sometimes judgmental and nosy? I mean I will because I can be judgmental and nosy <laugh>.
I will admit it here in this safe space. But if any of you ask about it, I will deny it.
TC: Exactly. Uh, <laugh>. But it, you know, it, it’s what makes— For me, it’s what makes the books great. You know, Mrs. Weasley? Love her. Is she right all the time? No! Do I think she was a ridiculous person when it came to Hermione and the rumor in Witch Weekly? Oh yeah. That was insane. You know this child, you’ve been with this child every summer for a while.
That was the pettiest thing I have ever heard. This woman’s in like her forties or fifties and this child who has come to her house every summer for years. It’s not enough to just be like “oh I don’t like that behavior. She’s not invited to my house anymore.” She’s like “I will still make her a present. It will be the size of a hummingbird’s egg.”
That is the pettiest thing I have ever heard of anyone doing ever.
TC: So petty. Like honestly there’s a lot of petty in the wizarding world. They sent… strangers sent a 14 year old girl stink sap and blistering spells. They have never met her. Mrs. Weasley aside cuz she met her, that was already wrong. But all these petty, petty wrong people. <laugh>
The amount of energy it takes to hate someone that specifically…
TC: Yes. Someone you’ve never met who is, let me reiterate this, a child! <laugh>
You make a very good point.
TC: <laugh> Yeah. It’s uh, I find the pettiness in the wizarding world amusing a little bit.
Let’s take a pause here for some more music, beginning with “Oliver’s Wood” by Bisexual Harry.
That was Bisexual Harry with “Oliver’s Wood” [lyrics], Emeric Switch and “But I’ve Never Played Quidditch,” and “Hand of Glory” by Draco and the Malfoys.
TC: I have a question for you actually.
TC: I know where I fall on this, but I’m very curious where you fall on it: Hedwig’s death. Which do you prefer? Do you prefer the heroic “I swallow to spell to save Harry death” or the “I just happen to be in the way of a spell. I’m dead now.” death and falling to the ground.
So an important thing to know about me, that magical friends already are well aware of, I like fluff. I live in the fluffy happily ever after. There is no hurt, there is no death, everybody lives. So… if you want a good story, you know, with pathos and emotional development and a journey, you don’t come to me <laugh> if you want “here’s some cute hijinks that happened while they were Christmas shopping?”
That’s my side. So I do prefer… that’s one of the things the movie change, movies change that I did prefer just because it’s a little bit less tragic. I acknowledge that does not necessarily make it a better story. <laugh>
TC: <laugh> Fair! I I honestly, um, I prefer… 9 times out of 10 I’m going to prefer anything books. But I do make a slight exception for that one. I like, I like the idea of Hedwig’s last moments being heroic because I loved Hedwig and I want an owl and they’re soft and fluffy and they’re wonderful and they’re great. Uh, and they eat rodents cuz rodents are bad. And I do not know why Hedwig never ate Wormtail. I’m just saying, um, <laugh>
Ooh there’s a uh, an unpopular opinion. People like to pretend he shouldn’t have been in Gryffindor.
TC: Who? Wormtail.
TC: Yeah, I’ve heard that.
And it’s part of that black and white thinking that we keep coming up against with all of our— all of our unpopular opinions. Us comfortably living in the gray zone, I guess.
Where no matter what series of poor choices, that doesn’t invalidate who he was. And there must have been something, you know? Maybe it was considered incredibly brave that he went to Voldemort and was like “I betray everyone I know” <laugh>
TC: Yeah, “everyone, everything. And I know people are going to know it’s me.” Uh, there is a lot of bravery in that. And honestly what makes me laugh is the same people are like “he should never have been a Gryffindor.” Not five seconds later will say “hashtag not all Slytherins.” You can’t do it both ways guys. <laugh> Because betraying his friends did not automatically make him a Slytherin. No, I, I agree. I think it’s um, I think it’s silly to pretend that Hagrid’s words of “all wizards that went bad were Slytherin” is true.
They really set us up for failure with that line.
TC: They really, really did. Really, really did. And with the idea that Hufflepuffs are duffers, which they are clearly not.
They run the fandom, y’all. We were just talking about this. The fandom would not be nearly what it is.
TC: No, they 100% run the fandom. And I’m not gonna lie, I think I would vote for a Hufflepuff for president. I think I would. Hardworking, slightly judgmental, but that’s okay cuz they are also very, very loyal. Uh, <laugh>, I might vote for Hufflepuff for president.
I feel like you could trust their motives more over some of the rest of us. <laugh>
TC: Yeah. Yeah. I agree.
Although I was previously stated I wouldn’t wanna wanna be president. I don’t wanna have to make those choices. So…
TC: No, I think we’ve already established, I’m not the general I am, if anything the local mayor like… <laugh>
My local mayor is called Mayor Buddy.
TC: Aw <laugh>
His name is Buddy Dyer. So it’s, it’s a very friendly sort of name. As with all politicians, complicated. But same vibe provided, you know nothing else about it.
TC: <laugh> Fair enough. Let’s, if only we could just stop at people’s names. Some of them are quite lovely for instance. No, no it’s not. Bellatrix is not a lovely name. I was…
Well it does have Bella in it.
TC: But Bella is beautiful. Exactly.
And honestly I would be here for someone named Bella The Strange. That feels like a Luna Lovegood person.
TC: It does. It seems like a really fun kinda cool girl to hang out with. Maybe it’s just the “trix” that’s the problem.
I would follow her Instagram to see what she was wearing. You know, that woman would have style.
TC: You are not wrong. You are not… Oh! There’s a thought. Cuz and this again might be an unpopular opinion, but Narcissa Malfoy? Not a good person. I would also follow her fashion advice cuz I’m sure she dresses perfection. I bet she’s one of the most stylish women in the wizarding world. But she’s still prejudiced and narrow minded. She had a moment of love for her child. Yes. Admirable, absolutely.
Evil people still can love their children.
TC: Exactly. And I, I think, yeah, I, I get a lot of like “no, Narcissa is the good one and Draco’s better because his mom would’ve taught him to not be as narrow minded and everything is is his dad’s fault.” I’m like “did you read the books? I don’t know if you read them. I think you need to read them again.” <laugh>
I am gonna bring it back to Ron for a second. Okay. Cause I was… one of my many dreams for wizard rock is to get enough songs about Ron and Lavender to be able to create a themed episode. And Lavender particularly and Ron and Lavender as a couple get a lot of crap. Like people are really nasty and hateful. And again, I think if you put them in a contemporary YA Princess Diaries, Angus Thongs, they’d fit right in. They’re making those silly over the top teenage choices. They’re all about the PDA. It’s very, very normal. They just have the misfortune of being normal teenagers in a dramatic epic fantasy fight for the world.
TC: Oh my God, that’s so true. I am right there with you. I am right there with you. And again, since a lot of us were on Hermione’s side, we turned against Lavender because how dare Lavender upset Hermione? But Lavender didn’t really do anything wrong. She liked a boy, she let the boy know she liked him and then dated a boy. Like that’s all she did. <laugh>.
And like, you know, as an adult I can see being embarrassed about how over the top I was at the time.
TC: Mhm. <affirmative>
But like as a teenager, that is how you feel. That is everything, all encompassing.
TC: Oh, absolutely. And the first time you get to like really kiss a boy and make out and discover all new feelings in your body? Of course you’re gonna lose your mind. That’s what you do as a teenager. And they’re in a boarding school, where you are living with your boyfriend. <laugh>, I think Ginny had the best reaction to it. “Eh, he’ll need to work on his technique, but good for him.”
TC: <laugh> That’s what first boyfriends and girlfriends and whoever you are interested in are for.
I think they just have the misfortune of being incredibly normal teenagers having an incredibly normal adolescence, but being looked at through this poor kid who’s been isolated as The Chosen One his whole life. You know?
His priorities are just a little different. If like Ginny saw it, she’d make a snarky comment cuz it’s her brother and move on.
TC: Pretty much. Pretty much. And even, I mean to be fair to Harry, he was pretty open-minded about Lavender. He just was grossed out by them. Eh, fair enough. I think, I think the fandom is actually harder on Ron and Lavender than any of the characters in the books actually are.
And Hermione threw birds at them. Like that is a big, big statement.
TC: Right. I’m like, I love Hermione. But again, she chose violence, people. A few times she has chosen violence.
<laugh>. Look, she’s having big feelings and hasn’t learned how to self-regulate yet. That’s adolescence.
TC: Exactly. And as much as I think permanently scarring a girl for betraying the Dumbledore’s Army was a bit over the top. I cannot say that at 14, if I had the power to disfigure an enemy that I would never have considered it.
Oh my God. You gave me unlimited power stick, I am not using that wisely.
TC: Right. Can you imagine if all the 11 year olds in the world were given the power of a wand? It is actually a murder stick. Like… <laugh>
I had undiagnosed untreated ADHD at the time. That’s not ending well for anybody.
TC: Mm-mm. It’s a little bad. It’s a little bad. I I think the fact that the wizarding world has so few people is to all of our um, betterment. <laugh>
And suddenly I understand more why they all have to go to boarding school away from everyone. Those teachers and their, like, risk training at the beginning of the year must be over the top.
TC: You know, I’m now thinking that the Statute of Secrecy is possibly to protect the muggles more so than the wizards. <laugh> New thought. <laugh>
I would’ve been a nightmare. I’m still, I am still hung up on giving, you know, 14, 15 year old me a magic wand.
Oh, those emotions were intense. Oh it was very Tinkerbell, you’re either all mad or all loving, like they’re… Whew.
TC: I, I don’t know if I would have survived my teen years if someone had given me a magic wand. I think that could have gotten ugly. I may have ended up in Azkaban. I may have hurt myself inadvertently or on purpose when you have just like a burst of emotion. I mean hor— the hormones in that castle <laugh>
That’s how they got Peeves.
TC: Right, exactly. And I love Peeves and I miss Peeves. I, I will say I appreciate why they didn’t add Peeves to the movies, but man, Peeves is great. That is one awful annoying creature that I love so much <laugh>
He is exactly what would happen if you take hundreds and thousands of years of 11 to 17 year olds just pure emotion. It’s not gonna be particularly witty. It is gonna be chaotic.
TC: Absolutely. Absolutely. I think that Peeves also serves the purpose of siphoning some of that emotion to a physical object cuz they all would just get mad at Peeves or frustrated with Peeves or I think Dumbledore was smart to leave Peeves in that castle.
A bit of a pressure valve.
TC: Yeah. Yeah. <laugh>.
All right. Here is my all-time favorite, everyone-knows-what’s-coming unpopular opinion and that’s the good ship SS Viktory. I am all about Hermione and Viktor getting together and being end goals.
TC: Ah! Okay, okay. So I don’t actually follow that ship. I am, I’m not uh, I don’t have anything against Hermione and Viktor. I just don’t see how they would work outside of teen physical attraction. So change my mind! I’m very curious. Give me, gimme some reasons to see this as a good thing.
And it is a rare pair. So, you know, most people do not share this opinion. The Slytherspouse is a devoted classic ro- Romione shipper, which I think he shares perhaps with you.
TC: Yes. <laugh>. Ironically though I will say I have written a lot of Dramione because the challenge of writing this pair that would never work in real life is fun. So I’m not completely close-minded.
So… I was a teenage girl reading about a teenage girl who was weird and bookish and everyone made fun of her for being weird and bookish. And then the coolest guy on earth was like “I see you as an interesting person and I pick you.” And so that’s how it imprinted on me basically. Cuz I was reading these at the same age as the characters and I mostly see it occurring two ways. One is a beautiful summer fling. You know, he invited you to come see him in Bulgaria. They get together for the summer. She gets to take, you know, two, three months off of the nightmare that is her Harry Potter life, with the cool guy doing cool things in a cool place.
And the second way I see it working is meeting back up again as adults because they’re both competent and emotionally intelligent. So they’re basically a power couple that are safe emotionally for each other. Ron and Hermione are very volatile. You know, there’s a lot of big emotion and history there. And I personally fully understand it, would have trouble if my Ron hurt me so many times in so many big ways. Hermione obviously a different person from me. Uh, but you know, Victor doesn’t have any of that baggage. He liked her from the beginning with the big teeth and the big hair when I think Ron might have not even been talking to her at the time.
TC: Well no, Ron liked her, but Ron was also unaware of his own feelings. Cuz a lot of times Ron would react as a person who had a crush on somebody but didn’t know where to put those feelings. It did help that Victor was more mature. He was older, he was an experienced man who had been working outside of school for a year at that point…
But was still in school.
TC: He was, but it’s sort of like doing a, um, if you work in an office as an intern while you’re also going to school, your experiences have aged you more than if you—
—strictly went to school and focused on prom.
Yeah. But I, I think it’s just because it’s emotionally easier, you know. It doesn’t have the volatility and the, the baggage that Ron and Hermione do. It’s just—
TC: Mhm. <affirmative>
—a breath of fresh air. <laugh> A, a clean slate.
TC: I I and I and I can totally see that. I think my, my issue with um, Hermione and Viktor is that I think over time a) I think Hermione would be bored with Victor. I think she would outgrow him. I think she doesn’t have enough of a love of Quidditch to really be able to understand his world. Because it’s different when you play a sport versus when the sport is your livelihood and everything about you. I do, I think she would’ve outgrown him eventually. And I think the difference with Hermione and Ron versus Hermione and Viktor is that Hermione and Ron were volatile but they also got each other. Like he understood her in ways that helped her get out of her own head and she understood his insecurities and would help him get better as he got older, not feeling so insecure anymore and when he wasn’t feeling insecure he was great.
I think that they balance each other in a way that I think Viktor would get boring. I think that he would be an amazing summer fling. Like I love to fantasize about the idea of her going to Bulgaria or wherever and having a lovely summer with him and having that big romantic summer fling. But she’s also a very practical young woman who had goals and achievements and things she wanted to do. And I think the difference is Viktor’s life would take him internationally. Quidditch playing here there everywhere. Eventually probably an announcer for quidditch games. She was much more the “I’m going to found a wizarding college” kind of a girl <laugh>. “I am going to set roots and make change and be uh, brilliant in my own right and I will be the one to make headlines.” And the difference is they would both be trying to make headlines. Whereas Ron had learned to be the supportive dad at home.
And that’s where I think head canon divergence happens because for me, Hermione and Ron would go down in flames. You know, we’ve already acknowledged she’s petty. So when one of their screaming rows she’d be like “well you left.” Which would, you know, a dagger that he couldn’t repair from, that she obviously hadn’t fully repaired from and then that would just explode. Uh, whereas Viktor, because he is such a big famous international name on his own, wouldn’t have any reason to be, you know, jealous or petty about her being a big international name on her own and would understand that pressure. So when they would come home they could just leave it all outside.
TC: I think, and this is, this is possibly where the only difference lies, I think Hermione at, at 15 to 17, Victor at 17 to 19 you are absolutely right. I think as adults they are going to be very different people than they were as children. Especially Ron. Like we see Ron make huge changes in growth and personality in the course of seven books. And that was up to the age of 17. Who you become after 17, I don’t know if you’ve experienced it yet cuz you’re so young looking, um, but there’s a lot that will happen to you <laugh> after 17 that changes who you are as a person in many fundamental ways. I also think, and this is definitely my head canon, I think that the Hermione that went back to get her parents and the horrors and fights and difficulties of gaining the trust of her parents back, the challenges of that.
I think that story we don’t get to see probably did more for her and Ron’s relationship than we’ll ever know. Because he unlike a lot of other people, cuz the other thing we don’t get to see is how often Ron and Hermione are alone at his house and talking to each other in the summers that we, before Harry ever gets there, we always see that Hermione has already been there. She and Ron have already been hanging out. Um, I think he understood her in a way that his support during that time was probably immeasurable and Viktor would not have had the time to be that guy for her. And, and not, not that he wouldn’t want to be, he would not have had the time. He is still trying to build his career still. He is 19 years old like <laugh>. He’s got a lot. So I, I think that for me that’s where my head canon takes me.
I am devastated that the last unpopular opinion is the one that rends us apart after almost an hour of perfect agreeance. We need another one. Quick! What else is there?
TC: <laugh>? No, you’re not wrong. You’re not wrong. Winky! Butterbeer! Go~ I’m just kidding. <laugh>
Ooh. Uh, this is a very particular Ravenclaw unpopular opinion.
TC: Mhm <affirmative>
I was devastated when Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, the book, came out because it was not textbook size.
TC: Yes. Can I tell you? Yes! Both of them!
TC: That and Quidditch Through The Ages. I was ready for a real book.
Yeah. They were like “we’re gonna get Harry’s textbooks~” and I was like “I am 700 pages, I’m gonna be annotating that, I am taking notes!”
TC: Yep. Nope, you were absolutely correct. And this is a popular opinion: I’m still waiting for my Harry Potter encyclopedia. I’m waiting for it. I want it. The Dictionary/Encyclopedia we were promised. Where is it?
TC: I I yeah. No you’re absolutely right. That was devastating.
I’m just glaring at it. It’s over on that shelf right now and it’s just, you know, I went in and I got it and they handed them to me and I was like “this thing is like 10 pages. This is his textbook? This is what he complains about having to carry every day!?”
TC: <laugh> I know! Hermione’s bookbag made her hu like, hunched over all the time. There’s no way with those books.
Oh that was so upsetting.
TC: I’m right there. I agree. <laugh> <laugh>. Oh my goodness. This is awesome. Thank you so much Bess.
Oh thank you for coming on and doing this with me. Related to Fantastic Beasts: no one ever picks pygmy puff as their dream pet? Puffskeins crawl into your bed at night to eat boogers. That is like an instant cold cure.
When it’s like winter I want seven
If you have a baby, you’re not gonna need one of those baby basters anymore. Just have a puffskein.
TC: You are not wrong. You are not wrong. I have always thought that concept was a little gross and now you have changed me. That <laugh>. Just the idea of not having to use that syringe on a baby winner.
TC: Can we get them to eat ear wax too?
I don’t see why not.
TC: That would be amazing.
I bet Fred and George are on that like right now.
TC: Okay. Absolutely. I’m here for it. <laugh>
Our final music break is here! It begins with The Blibbering Humdingers and “The Weapon.”
That was The Blibbering Humdingers, covering The Weapon” by Harry and the Potters, “Shout It Out!” by RiddleTM [lyrics], and The Weirdos Are Out with “Waiting For Hogwarts” [lyrics].
You mentioned at the beginning you were thinking about wizard rock? Maybe?
TC: Wow. I totally thought you would’ve forgotten about that.
I took notes.<laugh>
TC: <laugh> like the good Ravenclaw that you are. I appreciate that.
It has three exclamation marks.
TC: <laugh>. Well I’ll be honest, I don’t listen to a lot of wizard rock because a lot of wizard rock is metal/rock based or you know, or alternative, which have never been my genres. But I’ve been a performer, usually in musical theater since I was about five years old and that’s been, mm, years <laugh> so many years. So I do a lot of musical theater. It’s a lot of the people we travel with a lot of are my other Potter friends. We’re all theater people. That’s why you saw the six Potters at LeakyCon.
TC: That was born out of “we are just nerdy theater people.” So I’ve always sort of had a fantasy that if I could find someone to do like a wizard R&B group with, that would be so much fun. I think that would be hilarious. And uh, unfortunately I once played the flute in middle school and high school and I do not anymore. And I’m trying to relearn the piano, but in the meantime I do not play an instrument. So it makes it hard to be that person. <laugh>
So what instruments would you need? I’m getting specific cuz I know wizard rockers listen to this.
TC: I I have no idea. I I wouldn’t even know. I mean, I’m assuming a piano, guitar. Probably something with a bit of a jazzy background, like maybe a, a jazz guitar or bass guitar. I, I, I definitely w when I think R&B I think, um, I’m more of a Whitney Houston, uh, early Mariah. The, the, the nineties R&B… SWV, those kinds of people sort of suits my, my vocal uh, talents.
All right, magical friends, we have a music opportunity here. If you’ve got the instruments, we have the voice.
Do you have a name in mind? Would you be Celestina or…
TC: Oh, can I tell you? Every time I have gone to the parks, I love watching Celestina. Uh, <laugh>. I want that job. I would love to do a Celestina for, for the wizarding rock world. Beat back those bludgers, boys. <laugh>
Thank you so, so much for doing this with me. It’s very unique for the show, but I think it was a lot of fun and hopefully will spark many lively debates out in the fandom.
TC: Oh, I hope so. And, and, and please, uh, to your listeners, feel free to jump over and debate some of this with the uh, Ship Girls at Pottership cuz this is kind of what we do. We talk about characters and dissect them and I can say my opinion is not always a popular one with my co-hosts. <laugh>
So is there anything you want to, is there anything you want to share? Listeners should go look up, find?
TC: Um, just the, the Pottership podcast. We are on, you know, everything. Stitcher, Spotify, Apple, Google Podcasts and we’re, we’re in all of them and definitely try to get to LeakyCon Chicago and look for all of us at the Wizarding Wireless Collective booth.
TC: We have so much fun. And if you do like podcasts, it is perfect cuz all of them are there and you get to learn about all the kinds of Potter podcasts that you could be listening to and enjoying.
If you heard a song today and you thought “I could listen to that again” then go to the transcript at WZRDRadioPod.com, follow the link and buy a copy of your very own. It’s the best way to support your favorite musician, and without our wizard rockers, we wouldn’t be here.
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If you want to keep up with WZRD between episodes, you can find me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok at WZRDRadioPod. If you don’t believe in social media, you can also comment on the transcript or email me at WZRDRadioPod@gmail.com.
Until next time, magical friends!